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MBF Hosts Second Successful Access to Justice Summit



Norristown, PA (May 31, 2018) On Wednesday, May 30, 2018 the Montgomery Bar Foundation hosted its second Access to Justice Summit at the Montgomery Bar Association building (100 W. Airy Street, Norristown, PA 19401) for over 60 social service providers, attorneys, law enforcement officials, judges, county agencies, and other community leaders.  


Montgomery County Commissioner Valerie Arkoosh provided welcoming remarks which focused on the county’s efforts to address topics such as recidivism, mental health, and homelessness, all grounded in collaboration and a commitment to supporting the “whole person.” Emma Hertz, Administrator of Montgomery County’s Office of Housing and Community Development, provided an update on the groundbreaking eviction prevention program (“EPIC”), a collaboration between Your Way Home (the county’s unified housing crisis response system), Montgomery Bar Association, Montgomery Bar Foundation, Legal Aid of Southeastern PA, Montgomery County courts, and Pottstown Cluster of Religious Communities. The launch of EPIC was a direct outcome of last year’s Summit and has already garnered statewide and national attention.


Discussions focused on improved communication, a need identified by last year’s Summit attendees.  In furtherance of the collective goal to better serve vulnerable county residents, panelists discussed several programs designed to connect service providers and their clients to county resources, potential sources of funding, and each other. Nikki Johnson-Huston (founder of Donafy), Elizabeth DiArcangelo (Administrator of Montgomery County Community Connections), and Katie Dunphy (Director of Community Health and Stability, United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey), presented on behalf of their respective organizations.  County resident Penny Johnson shared her story about her own struggles and experience attempting to identify and access essential resources. Attendees later broke into small-group discussions focused on developing ideas to improve communication and collaboration throughout the county. A post-Summit focus group will convene in the coming weeks to identify potential next steps in these continuing efforts. 




About the Montgomery Bar Foundation – The Montgomery Bar Foundation (“MBF”) is the charitable arm of the Montgomery Bar Association, a non-profit organization of nearly 2,100 Montgomery County attorneys that provides its members with opportunities for professional development and facilitates the delivery of legal services of its members to the community.  The MBF is dedicated to fostering equal access to justice by providing financial and other support to organizations that offer free legal services to disadvantaged Montgomery County residents.  For more information about the MBF visit




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