Welcome from the Executive Director
Being witness to the civil rights movements, my passion for providing equal justice for all lead me to proudly take the helm of Elder Law & Advocacy (ELA) in 1999. I was inspired by this agency, which had been providing low-income seniors in San Diego and Imperial counties with legal assistance since 1978. Since that time ELA had grown from a small storefront to an agency with eight core programs serving over 8,000 older individuals annually.
I have seen first-hand how a legal trouble can cause immense pressure for those struggling to make ends meet. Nest eggs are ravaged by unscrupulous family members or strangers, the ill become victims of physical abuses, and the maze of public benefits lead some to give up. The stress and cost of solving critical legal issues can be overwhelming and have grave consequences on quality of life and independence. Fortunately, ELA’s attorneys, volunteers, and I also have the joy of seeing how a simple free counseling session can give a client a sense of hope and renewed security.
Today, the need for our services is only increasing, as one in eight San Diegans over the age of 60 is living in poverty. The number of people over the age of 60 is expected to double by 2030. ELA is striving to meet these challenges today and for the future health and welfare of our community.
I welcome you to explore this online resource which will strive to build a network of senior advocates and offer news and updates from the frontline of our senior legal aid programs. I hope that you will follow our progress and join us as we help seniors to regain the shine of their golden years.
Carolyn Reilly, Esq.