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Working with Homeless Youth: Patching the Broken Safety Net – Legal Options, Advocacy Strategies, and Policy Solutions

Speaker(s): Brian Blalock, Erin Palacios
Recorded on: Jun. 23, 2016
PLI Program #: 185235

Brian Blalock is the Law and Policy Director at Tipping Point Community, where he currently looks at systemic funding issues that create barriers to entitled services and works collaboratively with public system, provider, and advocate partners to foster workable solutions to complex problems related to poverty.

Prior to joining Tipping Point, Brian was the founder and director of the Youth Justice Project (YJP) at Bay Area Legal Aid providing civil legal services and direct representation to youth involved in the delinquency, dependency, and homelessness systems under the age of 25.  Brian has worked as a religious affairs consultant, a fight trainer, and a public school teacher in the south Bronx. He has graduate degrees from Columbia and Harvard and a law degree from Stanford Law School.

Erin Palacios is a staff attorney with Bay Area Legal Aid’s Youth Justice Project (YJP).  She joined YJP in 2013 to work with the Alameda County Youth Homeless Project where she currently provides direct representation to youth who are homeless or at extreme risk of becoming homeless.  She runs a weekly clinic at DreamCatcher Youth Shelter in Oakland.  Erin also works with a number of community partners to reach youth who are delinquency or dependency involved, sexually exploited, or who have mental health challenges because these young people are significantly over-represented in Alameda’s homeless youth population.  She was formerly a staff attorney with The Legal Aid Society’s Juvenile Rights Practice in Brooklyn, NY where she represented children ages 0-21 in child protective (dependency) and delinquency proceedings.  Before law school she worked for the Boston Public Schools where she had the good fortune of teaching 4th and 5th grade science.