SILVER2023

Gulfcoast Legal Services, Inc.

Changing Lives Through Justice

aka Gulfcoast Legal Services   |   St Petersburg, FL   |  www.gulfcoastlegal.org

Mission

Gulfcoast Legal Services, Inc. (GLS) is a regional 501(c)3 non-profit organization providing free, comprehensive civil legal aid through counsel, advice, representation, advocacy, and education for vulnerable individuals and families in the Greater Tampa Bay area.

Ruling year info

1979

Chief Executive Officer

Theresa Prichard

Main address

501 First Avenue N Suite 420

St Petersburg, FL 33701 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

59-1882749

NTEE code info

Victims' Services (P62)

Human Services - Multipurpose and Other N.E.C. (P99)

Ethnic/Immigrant Services (P84)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

At a very basic level, GLS serves to provide vulnerable community members with access to legal aid. The Tampa Bay area has several community issues that GLS seeks to address through legal aid. A rising housing rate is one. Seniors, especially those living on social security or disability, struggle to pay the costs of housing. In addition, they can be prone to discrimination in eviction or foreclosure hearings, and not understand their rights as tenants. GLS can work with the elderly to not only fight unfair landlord/tenant or other housing issues, but assist them with life planning, financial issues like access to public benefits, and in cases of grandparents looking to maintain custody of a grandchild, help them with temporary guardianship paperwork. GLS is also dedicated to helping immigrants and victims of human trafficking and domestic violence. Our family law unit and immigration units work to provide injunctions for protection for those experiencing abuse, among other things.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Legal Aid for Seniors

Legal Aid for Seniors is a core program for individuals aged 60+. Cases include housing, medical and public benefits, consumer fraud, care giving of a disabled partner or adult child, grandchild guardianship, and end of life matters. While all seniors are eligible for assistance, preference is given to low income, disabled, minority and those living in rural areas who would otherwise not be able to afford to hire a private attorney.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
People with physical disabilities

Every GLS family law Domestic Violence Representation client is a survivor of date or domestic violence, stalking or sexual assault. Clients come to the family law program on their own or are referred to GLS through one of its domestic violence shelter agencies within this agency's service area. The first order of business is to assess the client, help to prepare a workable safety plan and to accompany the client to court for an injunction for protection if warranted. It's safety first. Additional family law services of dissolution, shared custody, visitation and support come when safety is assured. Other legal services available for a holistic approach to complete one stop services are housing, immigration, public benefits, medical benefits and food stamps. The goal is to have a safe, confident, self-sufficient survivor able to care for herself and her family.

Population(s) Served
Women and girls

Housing is at the very core of our existence. It is our home and is central to our family life. When that is threatened because of foreclosure, predatory lending practices, wrongful eviction or discrimination, our world goes into crisis. The average person is not able to navigate the complex legal intricacies of these types of issues without the help of an attorney, yet many low to moderate income people are forced to do just that because they cannot afford to hire private counsel. Housing Preservation at GLS is there for people just like these. Advocates work to resolve foreclosures, mediate and negotiate workouts on behalf of their clients. GLS is one of the only two legal aid organizations in Florida, that is a HUD certified housing counselor agency which enables GLS to help ourclients with a plan for financial stability.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Economically disadvantaged people

Immigration and Individual Rights program began in 2004 when GLS became an unrestricted program.  In Oct. 2013 GLS was one of 7 agencies nationwide to receive a federal grant to represent victims of human trafficking. GLS assists with T and U visas, and VAWA applications.

Population(s) Served
Immigrants and migrants
Victims and oppressed people

When No One Else Can Help provides legal assistance for the homeless, including families, unaccompanied minors and adults,  and for veterans and the disabled who may be eligible for income maintenance programs such as SSI, food stamps and Medicaid. When awarded, these people are able to afford permanent housing and obtain the medical care they need. The program helps with employment disputes, wrongful terminations, and the application for unemployment benefits for which they are eligible. The program also manages the low income tax clinic for low income persons who may have controversies with the IRS, such as the innocent spouse or an immigrant unfamiliar with their tax responsibility while living in the U.S.

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work

Awards

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of cases monitored

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Per calendar year.

Average number of service recipients per month

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Social and economic status

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Number of people received immigration service

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Immigration & Individual Rights

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Our organization goals can be split up into several categories.

In terms of impact, our goals for the next 2-5 years are to expand our reach in the community, helping more people in a more meaningful and long-lasting way. We also hope to work with our community to better understand their needs, and ensure we are working to meet those needs.

Within the organization, we are seeking sustainability and long-term stability. We are working to expand our board in terms of history and background, adding non-lawyers like businesspeople, those working in the finance field, and former clients, to help us better inform our work. With staff, we are working to create a succession plan to ensure the organization can continue to exist in the hands of many rather than just in the hands of one.

Our long term goals are to grow our sustainability in funding, developing several strong funding sources, not just grants. Over the next few years, we hope to grow our funding base to include individual donors, foundations, and more.

To help expand our reach in the community, we have added a new marketing and resource development staff position, and have begun encouraging program staff to do community lawyering, the act of meeting clients in their communities. To help ensure we are aware of our community's needs, we recently developed an online needs assessment which will be accessed through our website. This assessment will cover the full range of civil legal topics and help inform us about our community's true needs.

To improve our board diversity, we have recently updated our board packet and are actively recruiting in the community. Our succession plan has recently been put into play by promoting staff members to managing positions, helping them gain the knowledge, insight, and experience they need to grow their responsibilities within the organization.

Our long term growth is being worked on slowly. We have begun friendraising within the community, working to expand our marketing so more people know we exist, what we do, and how they can help. A consultant for fundraising will be brought on within the next year.

Our organization is now uniquely poised to meet our goals. With a new executive director with over thirty years experience working in the nonprofit field, we have leadership that is best suited to guide us and move us forward. With a group of managing staff that has been with the organization for decades in combined experience, we have the history and knowledge to learn from our mistakes, and continue to use our former best practices. Our new staff brings fresh ideas, new energy, and support to existing staff.

GLS is also supported by many other community organizations, including CASA, AAAPP, the Florida Bar Foundation, and many others who have provided long term support, partnership, and feedback.

So far, we have been successful in planting the foundation for meeting our goals. We have set the ground rules - we know what we want to do, and have implemented plans to meet our goals. Already, we have created new board member packets and begun planning to conduct outreach for new members. We have begun sending out more press releases, adding blogs to our website, and upped our social media activity. Our two new management members have taken on new responsibilities, including additional leadership, and will continue to obtain the training they need to be successful. Although individual donations are slow to come, we will continue to work to improve this facet of our fundraising until we have a stable base.

Financials

Gulfcoast Legal Services, Inc.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Gulfcoast Legal Services, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 09/07/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Jason Miller

Najmy Thompson, P.L

Term: 2023 - 2025

Keith Bass

Mill Creek Capital, LLC

Elise Winters

Elise K. Winters, P.A.

Tracy Merry

AmeriLife

Bradley Muhs

Trenam Law

Ben Sorrell

Shutts & Bowen, LLP

Jason Miller

Najmy Thompson, P.L.

Cynthia Batt

Associate Professor of Law (retired)

Sandrine Guez

Private Practice

Junior Ambeau

Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP,

Jennifer Corinis

Greenburg Traurig

Kristen Adams

Stetson University, College of Law

Rochelle Alleyne

WFTS-TV/ABC Action News

Richard Kennedy

Pricewaterhouse Coopers

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 9/7/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 03/23/2020

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.