Other ways to support legal aid:

  • Does your company match your charitable support?
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  • Are you considering a gift of stock? 
  • Have you considered a lasting legacy of justice through a gift in your estate?

Contact Campaign Director Sarah Palermo to discuss how you can make an even bigger impact: 

Email: spalermo@nh-cls.org

Phone: 603-369-6650

The lights of justice…











This afternoon, Gino did something he could barely imagine two weeks ago. He wrangled his dog Phineas for a photo in front of their Christmas decorations.

Two weeks ago, they had no tree. No lights. No stockings hung with care. He was sure that within days, he’d be sleeping under a bridge.

Gino’s story starts in 2017, when he moved to this rented manufactured home in Milford, after being discharged from military service. He began attending classes at UNH Manchester, with his eye on becoming a therapist for other veterans dealing with trauma and mental illness.

But from the start, there were issues with his rental. Holes in the floor, broken windows, a stove that stopped working on a routine basis – and silence from the property manager when Gino requested repairs.

When the stove finally quit for good this summer, he began withholding his rent. The day he received an eviction notice was “the scariest thing in the world. I’ve never been in this situation before. I thought I’d be living under a bridge somewhere,” he said. “I was so stressed that I hadn’t been able to sleep for weeks. I didn’t even bother putting up a Christmas tree because I didn’t know where I’d be sleeping next week.”

Gino works with Veterans Count at EasterSeals to manage his post-traumatic stress disorder. When his care worker heard about the eviction, she contacted legal aid.

With one week before his hearing, Gino spoke with housing paralegal Steve McGilvary, who helped him compile the evidence of the uninhabitable conditions, and his requests for service, and write a motion to dismiss the eviction proceedings.

“I told him the whole situation, and Steve said you have rights, and he gave me all these possible options. I knew I would be representing myself, and I didn’t know if I would win or lose but I had the strongest armor on I could have,” Gino said. “I took what Steve gave me and I submitted it to the judge and handed it to the lawyer, and we went right into mediation mode.”

“It was like magic,” Gino said. “I think folk are just used to people like me not showing up or not knowing what to do or say if we do show up.”

That afternoon, after the case closed, Gino put up his Christmas tree.

If you find that Gino’s story has inspired you by the power of access to justice, please consider a gift to support 603 Legal Aid and NH Legal Assistance.