The Vietnamese Community Gets Much Needed Legal Help At A Free Legal Clinic In Biloxi - - The News for South Mississippi

The Vietnamese Community Gets Much Needed Legal Help At A Free Legal Clinic In Biloxi

The Mississippi Center for Justice was pleasantly surprised by the number of families who came out for the free legal clinic it organized in Biloxi at the Boat People S.O.S office.

"We were overwhelmed by the response of the Vietnamese community who clearly needs the help," says Karen Lash, Mississippi Center for Justice.  

Hong Le came looking for help and trying to get back property he lost post-Katrina. He found that help at the free legal clinic in the Boat People S.O.S office.

"Today's program, specifically, was very helpful to the Asian community and the ones that have been displaced from communists Vietnam. It's a very big help for us," says Le.

The Mississippi Center for Justice partnered with organizations like the Biloxi based Boat People SOS and the Vietnamese American Bar Association of Northern California to put on clinic.

Mai Phan is a Biloxi native and one of 10 attorneys who volunteered her time at the clinic.

"I know there are not Vietnamese attorneys here in Mississippi there is such a need for that, and there is a language barrier. There are lot of grants and programs available to them but they just need help," says Mai Phan, Vietnamese American Bar Assocation of Northern California.

Those who came to the office needed help with everything from homeowner grant applications to pre-Katrina legal issues like immigration. The attorneys say they know their work is part of a bigger picture.

"Making sure rights of certain minority groups aren't abridged by the huge development process that's happening here in Biloxi, and that certain groups that were undeserved and not really seen and invisible are not shoved aside while Biloxi is busy trying to rebuild itself," says Tuyet Duong, Asian American Justice Center.

That's good news to people like Hong Le who hopes this won't be the last time these attorneys stop by Biloxi.

"My personal preference is that this should continue for people who are confused about the whole process and displaced by Katrina, but also beyond Katrina," says Le.

By Krystal Allan


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