Serving as a Student Director of the HAVEN Free Clinic Medical-Legal Partnership (MLP) has been one of the most formative experiences for me so far in law school.
HAVEN is a student-run primary care clinic that provides comprehensive medical, legal, and social services to uninsured residents of the New Haven community free-of-charge.
What I love about HAVEN: the integrated, multi-pronged model means that the clinic isn't just treating illness--it's trying to address the root problems underlying illness. We know that the law is a structural force that can both harm and promote health, and that's why it's important to have legal services embedded into medical spaces.
Imagine this: an uninsured patient has asthma. The asthma is related to mold in their apartment that their landlord refuses to remedy, and they're scared of pushing their landlord to fix the mold because they're struggling to make rent and don't want to create any issues. This patient can come to HAVEN and get clinical care for their asthma, legal services for their mold and landlord issues, and social services to enroll in a rent assistance program.
This of course doesn't resolve our deep-seated affordable housing crisis and our weak system of protections for tenants, but it does make a material and meaningful difference in the life of the patient.
If you have a couple of dollars to donate to HAVEN today, that would be wonderful. If you're not able to donate, that's also great. Thanks for reading!
For more information about HAVEN, feel free to visit the clinic's website here: https://www.havenfreeclinic.com/