what we do and why it moves us
Military Assistance Project (“MAP”) is a Pennsylvania-based non-profit organization providing legal and financial services to military personnel, veterans, and their spouses/widow(er). MAP is deeply involved in veterans’ issues throughout Pennsylvania and a national footprint through twenty-six states across the United States, with a focus on zealous advocacy for our clients. MAP has no income requirements, which means no military member or veteran is left behind because they make too much money. If they meet the requirements for each division, they can become a MAP client. MAP provides legal services in the Tri-State area (PA/NJ/DE), the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and nationwide. MAP serves all branches and all levels of discharge.
Established in 2011 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, Military Assistance Project provides: pro bono Chapter 7 no asset bankruptcies; assistance with filing back taxes or dealing with IRS debts through offers in compromise with volunteer accountants; has financial planners who will volunteer to speak with clients if bankruptcy is not the right course of action; and attorneys who can also provide assistance with VA Benefit Claims, Discharge Upgrades, and appeals.
We got started because it is no secret that lawyers’ services are expensive and there is a crisis among those living at or near poverty who need quality legal representation. According to the 2016 Justice Index there is less than one attorney available to provide pro-bono representation for every 10,000 poor Americans. These veterans face a complex and unique legal framework for pursuing benefits they have earned, righting their finances, and obtaining other services. Further, according to the latest Community Homeless Assessment, Local Education and Networking Groups Report, eight of the top ten unmet needs facing homeless veterans are legal in nature; attorneys can help veterans pursue important legal solutions.
Military Assistance Project believes the attorney-to-veteran-client ratio simply does not add up and has been, since 2011, a key variable in the access to justice equation—serving those who served us through the delivery of free legal services. Through a laser-focused mission and application of the law, it has been our honor to serve to those who have served us.
what Moves Us
A VETERAN is a PERSON who, at one point, signed a BLANK CHECK to the U.S. GOVERNMENT for an amount UP TO AND INCLUDING THEIR LIFE. Now is OUR time to SERVE THEM. This is our promise to ALL our clients.
Between Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware, there are well over 1,000,000 veterans in this portion of the country. Pennsylvania has the fourth highest veteran population in our nation, with 939,069 veterans (approximately 8% of the State). Nearly 30% of Pennsylvania veterans live in the greater Philadelphia area. According to a study of Pennsylvania counties, Philadelphia, Montgomery and Delaware counties have the second, third, and fourth highest veteran populations in the Commonwealth. About 438,000 veterans live in New Jersey, 16% of whom live in Camden and Burlington counties. New Jersey is also home to Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst which houses over 44,000 military personnel and family members. About 75,000 veterans live in Delaware, 38% of whom live in New Castle County. With over 2 million service members deployed since September 11, 2001 and over 1 million new veterans released as of August 2011, our nation will only see more veterans struggling to access perpetually limited services. Homelessness and poverty among veterans are persistent problems that continue to stretch already limited public and social service resources.
No matter what brings you to our organization, we are glad to join you in service to those who have served us.
Yours in service,
Dr. Cecilia M. Cardesa-Lusardi, Executive Director