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Robert Manne ’77 and Grace Manne Fight Homelessness in Florida

11/09/2022

Adjunct Professor of Law Robert Manne ’77 and his wife, Grace Manne, have launched the nonprofit Manne Foundation Homeless Prevention (MFHP) program and committed $1 million to fund legal services that can help curb evictions for those facing homelessness in Broward County, Florida.

The Mannes, both attorneys, were inspired by their legal background to pledge funding over five years to the program, which is being executed as a collaborative effort between HOPE South Florida and Legal Aid Service of Broward County. The MFHP program will support staff at both organizations, allowing them to provide free legal and other support services to eligible Broward County residents.

The current housing crisis prompted the Mannes’ focus on evictions, with the idea that eviction is often the origin of homelessness.

"The homelessness crisis's impact cannot be ignored, and we felt compelled to find a way to stop homelessness before it happens," the MFHP founders said in a statement. “By seeding a program that allows Legal Aid Service of Broward County and HOPE South Florida to collaborate to help families and individuals avoid eviction-related homelessness, we can keep people in their homes and maintain their dignity during difficult times. Preventing homelessness is far more strategic and beneficial to the community and the families involved than attempting to address the problem after the eviction has happened and people are living on the streets.”

To provide the full gamut of services necessary for a successful program, Legal Aid will offer legal services and collaborate with HOPE South Florida. Together, they will collaborate to refer people for case management services, including housing, employment assistance, mental health counseling, substance abuse, and more.

To help individuals facing the loss of their home, Legal Aid Service of Broward County expects to address issues that include garnishment of wages or bank accounts, loss of a driver's license, loss of immigration documents, child support and alimony obligations, including receipt and/or enforcement, and the obtaining or reinstating of public benefits.

In addition, the MFHP program and its partners will continue to work alongside community stakeholders to grow the financial support for the program so that it is better equipped to serve those imminently facing homelessness.