Gulfcoast Legal Services, Inc.
501 First Avenue North Suite 420
St Petersburg FL 33701
Gulfcoast Legal Services is a regional, non-profit organization dedicated to providing comprehensive, personal legal advocacy in civil matters, counseling and education for vulnerable individuals and families in Pinellas, Sarasota, Hillsborough, Pasco and Manatee Counties, Florida.
CEO/Executive Director John E. Dubrule Esq.
Board Chair Mr. William H. Weller Esq.
Board Chair Affiliation Attorney
General Info
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Incorporation Year 1978
Awarded competitive grant from Community Foundation in the last 5 years? Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes Feb 2019
State Registration Yes 0
Financial Summary
Note: Revenue includes the value of in-kind contributions/donations
IRS Letter of Determination
IRS determination letterView
Other Documents
Statement of Priorities April 2015View
Impact Statement


1. In 2015, Gulfcoast Legal Services, Inc. provided civil legal services to families and individual in 3,392 cases.

2. 1,284 cases involving Housing/Foreclosure/predatory lending and homeless were closed in 2015.

3. 433 Family Law cases were closed in 2015. Our attorneys not only helped with legal assistance, they helped with housing, support, employment and public benefits to enable clients to have self-sufficiency and/or a safe fresh start.

4. Monthly outreach program at the Kathleen K. Catlin Senior Friendship Center in Venice resulted in a surge of South Sarasota County senior citizens receiving assistance with essential planning matters -- durable power of attorney, living will and designation of health care surrogate, deeds, and future housing. Seniors were helped with debt collection and consumer scams.

5. The Sarasota office is honored to work with Mark Kapusta, Esq., a local Sarasota attorney who volunteers at our office in the Glasser Schoenbaum Human Services Center weekly, as well as Gerald Robinson, Esq. and David Rosenberg, Esq., members of the Association of Retired Attorneys of Sarasota. Mr. Robinson and Mr. Rosenberg have Emeritus Attorney status in Florida through their commitment to Gulfcoast.

Goals for 2016:

1. Expand Elder Law, Housing Law, Immigration Law, and Medical Law in our Sarasota, Bradenton, and Clearwater service areas by increasing legal staff and outreach efforts. For example, expand the elder law client services and housing outreach programs to South Sarasota County – Venice, North Port, and Englewood.

2. Update internal policy and procedures to help our day to day operations.

3. Increase visibility to potential clients and future benefactors by implementing a new communications plan. We will increase educational, outreach, and engagement opportunities for all of our constituencies.

4. Secure a convenient, safe, and clean office space in Bradenton to better serve clients from.

Needs Statement

1. $16,800 - Rent for the year; or $125,000 - $250,000 for new service location/office space in Bradenton with 6 offices, a conference room, and parking.

2. $15,000 – Operating expenses for a year for the Sarasota Office; which includes rent, utilities, mobile legal expenses primarily for south vounty seniors who need localized legal advocacy.

3. $40,000 - Enhancing our relationship management system. A new management system will increase our ability to track meaningful relationship information on our pro bono and daily volunteers, interns, donors, and community members.

4. $1,000 - 1,500 - Representation for a disabled homeless person to obtain disability benefits, representation for an immigrant child in pursuit of legal status, help a veteran save their home from foreclosure. Or, representation to defend a senior citizen victimized by a predatory home solicitation scam or unlawful service contract.

5. $25 + Gifts of any amount - Being part of a collective whole can help ensure proper and just legal representation for individual and families in your community who can't afford private legal services. In Sarasota, gifts of $25-$100 provide access for our satellite/mobile legal services.

Background Statement

Gulfcoast Legal Services (GLS) is a regional nonprofit legal aid law firm providing free legal services in civil matters for economically disadvantaged people who have no other means to hire a private attorney. The agency is dedicated to provide high quality legal services to protect personal safety and to establish, advance and protect the rights and interests of low income persons to health, basic shelter, income and quality of life. GLS was chartered in 1978 and has offices in Pinellas, Sarasota and Manatee Counties. Services are offered in Pinellas, Hillsborough, Manatee, Sarasota, Desoto, Pasco, Polk, Charlotte, Hardee, and Hernando Counties. Each office is staffed by experienced attorneys, paralegals and support staff who provide services ranging from consultation and advice to full representation in court. Civil cases include but are not limited to matters of housing, consumer, immigration, elder, public benefits, discrimination and family law. Specific groups assisted include victims of domestic violence and stalking, the homeless, unaccompanied immigrant children, seniors, the disabled and refugees. In the 2015 calendar year, Gulfcoast Legal Services, Inc. closed 3,392 cases.

Areas Served
Areas Served
FL- Manatee
FL- Sarasota
FL- Hillsborough
FL- Charlotte
FL- DeSoto
FL- Hardee
Areas Served Comments Pinellas, Sarasota and Manatee counties are the primary areas of service. GLS also covers Pasco, Hillsborough, Charlotte, Hardee, Hernando and Polk counties for unaccompanied minor immigrate youth. GLS' Low Income Tax Clinic covers Pinellas, Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte and Desota counties and Hillsborough and Pasco for affordable housing issues. 
Service Categories
Primary Org Type Human Services
Secondary Org Type Human Services
Tertiary Org Type Housing, Shelter
Statement from the Board Chair/Board President

I have always been deeply impressed with the commitment of the attorneys and staff at Gulfcoast to the hard day-to-day work of providing free civil legal services for economically disadvantaged members of our community.  I am inspired by the stories I see of disabled persons who would otherwise be homeless because they were wrongly denied disability benefits, or elderly clients who were victims of mortgage and homeowner fraud and desperately needed the help of Gulfcoast lawyers to stay in their homes.  When poor women become the victims of domestic violence and need legal assistance to obtain injunctions against their abusers, the attorneys and staff at Gulfcoast are often the only possibility for the legal help necessary to keep them safe and help them start anew.  And the people at Gulfcoast provide this work on a shoestring budget.  They could all get jobs in the private legal sector for far more pay, but their commitment to helping our community is so great, their spirit of service so deep, that they see the work as often its own best reward.  Gulfcoast is the leanest, most efficient operation I have ever seen.  The money that goes to Gulfcoast goes directly into client services.  This is why I have long been committed to helping Gulfcoast not only with my time, but also have made it the top funded organization in my own personal annual charity donations. 

Statement from the CEO/Executive Director
When a civil legal crisis hits, people seek the help of an attorney.  Unfortunately, private attorneys can be expensive and out of the reach of the low income or elderly on a fixed income.  That's where Gulfcoast Legal Services can help.  GLS is a legal aid program that provides free legal help to those in need.
For example, with so many people affected by the mortgage crisis, Gulfcoast helps many homeowners facing foreclosure.  In some cases GLS can help clients work out a new plan in order to save their mortgage and their home.  The difference between having an attorney or not can be the difference in saving a home.  The same can be said about many other areas of the law.  Victims of domestic violence need the protection that can be provided by a domestic violence injunction.  Without an attorney, victims can be intimidated by their abuser and fail to articulate their fear before the court.  An attorney can change this dynamic and make sure that the victim gets the protection needed.  The help provided by advocates at GLS can change lives.
Gulfcoast Legal Services has a staff of attorneys and paralegals who assist those in need with legal problems such as landlord and tenant issues, consumer matters, Medicaid, unemployment, social security disability and family law.  GLS is victim-oriented and helps victims of domestic violence with injunctions for protection and immigrant victims of domestic violence with immigration help.  Gulfcoast has a special project called GLS CHILD which helps immigrant children who have been abused, abandoned or neglected to gain legal status.
The elderly  can be particularly vulnerable to such matters as consumer scams, credit problems, housing issues or health-related legal issues.  That's why Gulfcoast established the senior project.  There is no income limitation for those aged sixty and older to get legal advice.
GLS helps individuals with tax problems and tax controversies as part of our low income tax payer project.  GLS has had great success in reducing tax claims alleged to be owed to the IRS.  Some of these claims are entirely owed because of the error of a third party.  Without the help of an attorney, the client would be at risk of losing their sole source of income, their car, or their home.
Gulfcoast Legal Services opened the doors of its first office in September 1979 in Pinellas County, and has been helping people in Sarasota and Manatee Counties since 1981.  We stand ready to deliver on our mission, which is to guarantee justice for all. 
Description Legal Aid for Seniors is a core program for individuals aged 60 and older who have meritorious civil legal problems and elder planning needs that need to be resolved with the assistance of an attorney. Cases include housing, medical and public benefits, consumer fraud, care giving of a disabled partner or adult child, grandchild guardianship, and end of life matters. While all seniors are eligible for assistance, preference is given to low income, disabled, minority and those living in rural areas who would otherwise not be able to afford to hire a private attorney to resolve their legal problem. Primary funding comes from the Area Agency on Aging of Pasco-Pinellas, West Central Florida Area Agency on Aging and a small sub-grant from Florida Rural Legal Services, other grants provided by the United Way of South Sarasota County, and designated client and donor gifts.
Budget $254,613
Category Human Services, General/Other Senior Services
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served At-Risk Populations People/Families with of People with Physical Disabilities Aging, Elderly, Senior Citizens
Short Term Success Recent successes are that seniors have had their homes saved from foreclosure or from falling into the hands of a predatory lender, faulty repairs are finished correctly, warranties are honored, benefits are received or reinstated for disabled adult dependent children, age discrimination is positively resolved, service animals are recognized as medically necessary and not just as a pet, tax disputes are resolved and elder abuse victims are made safe.  Clients obtain peace of mind, remain independent and self-sufficient whenever possible. Case information is kept in the GLS case management system which generates demographic and case reports. Reports are sent to funding sources and reported in self assessment report required by the Florida Bar Foundation.
Long Term Success Each case is unique. GLS responds to critical economic and community needs. While shelter has always been a central case type, the current economy and housing crisis has brought predatory lending, foreclosure and fraudulent repairs to the forefront. Overall, more than 80,000 seniors have been helped by GLS in its 35 year history. Legal Aid for Seniors is central to the GLS vision to protect personal safety and to establish, advance and protect the rights and interests of low income persons to health, basic shelter, income and quality of life. 
Program Success Monitoring As each case is unique, success is measured by the outcome of each case and whether the client has achieved the stated goal at the onset of the case. Meticulous case records are kept and case trends are noted so that the program is always responsive to emerging needs, such as the current housing crisis. Quarterly and annual reports are used as indicators of trends as well as the current observations of advocates.
Program Success Examples
Clients are given a survey to register satisfaction at case closing.  99% are completely satisfied and often have glowing reports directed to the executive director on behalf of the good work of their advocate. In real terms, homes in threat of being lost to foreclosure are saved through bank workouts, mediation and/or refinancing. When there is no hope, the advocate buys time to allow the client to find new housing so they don't become homeless. In the case of elder abuse, the client is removed from the abuse, safe haven is found for them and they are awarded an injunction against the abuser. In some cases law enforcement is involved and the abuser is prosecuted. This has been especially true in the case of a substandard custodial care facility or an abusive family caregiver. Clients who may have had their social security stopped for unfounded reasons will have it reinstated, giving them the ability to remain independent and able to afford their medications and buy food.   
Description Every GLS family law Domestic Violence Representation client is a survivor of date or domestic violence, stalking or sexual assault. Clients come to the family law program on their own or are referred to GLS through one of its domestic violence shelter agencies within this agency's service area. The first order of business is to assess the client, help to prepare a workable safety plan and to accompany the client to court for an injunction for protection if warranted. It's safety first. Additional family law services of dissolution, shared custody, visitation and support come when safety is assured. Other legal services available for a holistic approach to complete one stop services are housing, immigration, public benefits, medical benefits and food stamps. The goal is to have a safe, confident, self-sufficient survivor able to care for herself and her family.
Budget $95,678
Category Human Services, General/Other Family-Based Services
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Females Victims At-Risk Populations
Short Term Success Short-term success will be measured by the fact that every client will receive immediate services, a safety plan and representation at court for the injunction for protection so they will have the legal support they need against the perpetrator. All clients will have access to all GLS legal services to make them whole again. GLS advocates and pro bono advocates will have representation at each office and stay in close contact with shelters. Most clients will receive alimony, job training, housing assistance and referral to other human services agencies for further help not provided by legal services.
Long Term Success Long Term Success is that the client will be safe, with the tools necessary to be self-sufficient, confident and ready to start a new life. All clients will have access to a holistic approach to services to meet all their legal needs.  Clients will have access to shelter counseling if necessary to repair the damage of the trauma of the abuse experience. Clients will receive alimony, housing, public benefits, and other assistance necessary to have a fresh start for themselves and their children. This is tied to the GLS vision of being able to provide personal safety and to establish, advance and protect the rights and interests of clients to health, basic shelter, income and quality of life.
Program Success Monitoring The Family Law Supervising Attorney will continue to monitor the program, enter client information into the case management system and generate reports.  She will handle all reporting and oversight and will be responsive to emerging needs of the clients and the domestic violence community.  Additionally, the Supervising Attorney will conduct outreach information sessions for new students at the USFSP campus in an effort to educate students about recognizing the triggers for abuse in an effort to prevent the abuse before it happens.
Program Success Examples Indicators of success will be the client's ability to be self-sufficient, obtain employment, take care of her family and not return to an abusive situation. Many immigration clients come in for a visa and in reviewing the case it comes out that they have been victims of abuse.  Once the client receives the injunction, and a permanent residency visa and green card, they are empowered to take care of themselves and start anew.  In another case, the client was referred by a shelter, the advocate visited her at the shelter because she had no transportation. When the case was completed she was safe, had a new job, was able to keep the family home and had child support. She was a confident, take-charge new person, a total turnaround from the first time she saw us for help. 
Description Housing is at the very core of our existence. It is our home and is central to our family life. When that is threatened because of foreclosure, predatory lending practices, wrongful eviction or discrimination, our world goes into crisis. The average person is not able to navigate the complex legal intricacies of these types of issues without the help of an attorney, yet many low to moderate income people are forced to do just that because they cannot afford to hire private counsel. Housing Preservation at GLS is there for people just like these. Clients who come for help have their case reviewed  and a plan of action is done in a timely manner for the best possible outcome for the client. Advocates work to resolve foreclosures, mediate and negotiate workouts on behalf of their clients. GLS is one of the only two legal aid organizations in Florida, that is a HUD certified housing counselor agency which enables GLS to help ourclients with a plan for financial stability. 
Budget $431,000
Category Housing, General/Other Housing Counseling
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Adults At-Risk Populations Aging, Elderly, Senior Citizens
Short Term Success Typical client successes were: 1. A senior, caregiver of an adult disabled son was able to stay in her condominium after the association president tried to unlawfully evict them because he didn't want a disabled person living there. 2. A disabled tenant was able to get handicap accommodations for their rental unit with the help of the GLS Fair Housing attorney. 3. A blind client received a cash award for discrimination against his service dog and was allowed to stay in his affordable housing unit. 4. An elderly couple were able to renegotiate their mortgage and keep their property after a medical crisis had caused them to fall behind in their payments. With the renegotiated rate, their payments are now affordable and more in line with the value of their property. Housing is currently a large area of GLS law practice and is one of the most successful. 
Long Term Success Many of housing foreclosure clients were able to keep their homes through renegotiated loans, mediations and workouts. Housing attorneys worked with law enforcement officials to bring predatory lenders to justice.  Typical housing cases do not have quick fixes and can take between 3yrs and 5yrs to complete. Advocates work with clients for the best possible outcomes.  Families and individuals are positively affected by the winning outcome of their housing matter, finances are stabilized so the family or individual has peace of mind about their future without the threat of losing their home.  
Program Success Monitoring The program is monitored by the Managing Attorney of each office. The program has many small funding sources that require monthly, quarterly and annual reports. Each office manager does the required reports, which are then forwarded to the finance department for coordination with billing.  The program is augmented by a team of pro bono advocates who volunteer their services in each of the GLS offices.  With funding sources reducing amounts this has been a lifesaver for the program so that GLS can maintain cases and serve the many clients seeking help with their housing matters.
Program Success Examples 1. A senior who is responsible for taking care of her younger disabled brother had fallen behind on mortgage payments while she was out of work for a medical matter. A predatory lender promised to help but duped her into signing over her home while still being responsible for the original mortgage. He eventually evicted them and they were homeless. GLS worked with social services to find an apartment and was able to bring the predatory lender to justice and get payment for the value of the home that was lost. They are now living in a new home and have replaced their furniture and belongings.  This case took 5yrs.   2. A family with limited English proficiency had not received proper notice of their home's pending auction. A GLS advocate met them at a court hearing and immediately stepped in. That action saved the home from auction, once the language barrier was removed and the proper documents were obtained, the problems were resolved and the couple was able to keep their home.
Description Immigration and Individual Rights program began in 2004 when GLS became an unrestricted program.  Areas of concentration are GLS-CHILD to assist unaccompanied minor children in getting their SIJS visa, allowing older minors to have permanent residency,  able to work and accept earned scholarships for college. In Oct. 2013 GLS was one of 7 agencies nationwide to receive a federal grant to represent victims of human trafficking. Persons seeking asylum are helped with their applications, migrant workers have an advocate for better working conditions and fair pay, survivors of domestic abuse receive assistance in safety, injunctions for protection and applications for permanent residency. Since its beginning, the program has gained prominence and respect throughout the community for its heart and professionalism. In 2014, 457 clients were received the legal advocacy they needed because this program was in place.
Budget $259,870
Category Human Services, General/Other Personal Social Services
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Immigrant, Newcomers, Refugees Adolescents Only (13-19 years) Migrant Workers
Short Term Success 1. A GLS-CHILD client became the valedictorian of his class despite being homeless and attending 4 schools. His advocate applied for his SIJS status which allowed him to accept a 4yr full scholarship to Stanford University. He plans to apply for citizenship as soon as he is able. 2. A victim of human trafficking forced into prostitution was arrested. Because GLS had made law enforcement aware of the situation and the client worked with police to prosecute the perpetrator, she was eligible to receive her visa and green card. She is now on her own, has a job and is grateful for GLS advocacy.  3. A client who was regularly beaten by her husband and his family in her homeland escaped to the US when her husband was on a business trip. She had a visitor's visa but when it expired she needed to apply for asylum. She dishonoring her family by leaving her personal torture so she was threaten with death if she returned. Her appeal was approved and she is living and working independently
Long Term Success 1. Immigration and Individual Rights advocates were ready to help refugees from Haiti following the catastrophic earthquake. Advocates, fluent in Creole, were able to help families and individuals obtain their Temporary Protected Status (TPS) so they could live and work in the US while their country recovered.  2. A couple in their late 60s sought asylum from torture and certain death in their home country, Sierra Leone. After several years ICE felt it was safe for them to return home, although they no longer had property or family there. They received another threatening letter from Sierra Leone stating that they would surely be murdered if they returned. GLS again appealed and the couple was approved for asylum. 3. A GLS-CHILD client, was still in high school, totally on her own, no permanent housing and unable to work without documentation. Her attorney assembled all the proper documents, appealed again and was granted SIJS status. She accepted a scholarship, has housing and a job.
Program Success Monitoring The program is monitored by the Immigration program supervising attorney.  In the short time this program has been in effect, it has gained the respect of the community and its clients for its professionalism, knowledge and leadership in the field of immigration services and especially for its caring concern for its clients.  In 2011, the GLS-CHILD advocate was honored with the Amigo award for her work with unaccompanied minor children. The program's success rate is at 100%. The Immigration team has monthly meetings to review cases, follow trends, and strategize over particularly difficult cases. The team collaborates with other legal aid organizations in Florida and across the nation regarding cases that cross service areas and for specific areas of representation.  The supervising attorney is recognized for her knowledge and training sessions, regularly presenting attorney CLE seminars.
Program Success Examples Immigration and Individual Rights has gained the respect of the community. Advocates work with school systems to reach unaccompanied minors, present education seminars on immigrant rights and responsibilities, present educational seminars for law enforcement and the courts to assist them in their knowledge of human trafficking and worker's rights. The program also works closely with other human service agencies serving the immigrant community, such as Catholic Charities, Survivors of Torture, and Lutheran Social Services to ensure that GLS Immigration clients receive non-legal assistance for which they are eligible. 868 immigration clients received legal assistance in 2011.  100% of GLS-CHILD cases received positive outcomes to their applications for SIJS status.
Description When No One Else Can Help provides legal assistance for the homeless, including families, unaccompanied minors and adults,  and for veterans and the disabled who may be eligible for income maintenance programs such as SSI, food stamps and Medicaid. When awarded, these people are able to afford permanent housing and obtain the medical care they need. The program helps with employment disputes, wrongful terminations, and the application for unemployment benefits for which they are eligible. The program also manages the low income tax clinic for low income persons who may have controversies with the IRS, such as the innocent spouse or an immigrant unfamiliar with their tax responsibility while living in the U.S. 
Budget $461,437
Category Human Services, General/Other Services for the Homeless
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Other Health/Disability Families Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Short Term Success SSI (for disabled persons) was reinstated for disabled clients. Unemployment benefits were awarded for a client wrongfully terminated. Attorneys work with many homeless persons to receive SSI and Medicaid which allows them to obtain affordable housing after living in the streets .
Long Term Success Homeless individuals received legal assistance to apply for SSI benefits for which they were eligible, as a result they were able to attain permanent housing.  A disabled child was finally awarded SSI and Medicaid after 3yrs of appeals and waiting.  LITC (Low Income Tax Clinic) serves Pinellas, Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte and Desota counties providing outreach presentations and resolving tax controversy cases.  Veterans have had legal help with housing, employment, medical and family matters that were not able to be accessed through traditional veteran's organizations. 
Program Success Monitoring The program is monitored by the Public Benefits supervising attorney and the LITC supervising attorney.  The LITC component of the program is monitored by the IRS and has regular reporting and site visits. All cases are recorded in the GLS case management system where client demographics and case outcomes are kept and reports are generated. Each supervisor regularly follows case trends and new laws and legal rulings effecting this program so that they are providing the best possible  representation for these important client benefits.
Program Success Examples The agency work with 51 homeless individuals, helping them to secure income benefits, housing and a variety of other needed services. 25 Veterans and their families were assisted with benefits and other services to help them re-establish themselves in their community. 136 unaccompanied immigrant youth were assisted in 2013 and 118 individuals/families were assisted with their tax issues.
Program Comments by Organization

Gulfcoast Legal Services’ mission is to provide critical legal help to the low income and elderly. One critical need at the current time is help for homeowners. During the past year GLS used its team of staff, volunteers and pro bono counsel to fight to protect homeowners from losing their homes to foreclosure. GLS conducted clinics in local libraries to reach out to homeowners in crisis. Hundreds of clients have been assisted in this effort.

GLS partnered with domestic violence shelters, HOPE, SPARCC, CASA and The HAVEN to assist victims of domestic violence. GLS attorneys appeared in court to help clients obtain Orders of Protection Against Domestic Violence. These orders were crucial in providing safety to the victim from continued abuse. GLS helped 433 persons with family law problems. Family law is always one of the most critical needs for low income people and expansion of our family law staff is one of the main goals for GLS in 2016.

GLS also used its partnerships with domestic violence shelters to help immigrant victims of domestic violence obtain legal status. These partner organizations helped GLS win immigration cases by identifying immigrant victims, documenting the clients’ domestic violence and writing supportive reports to be submitted to USCIS.

GLS CHILD helped many children who were abused, abandoned or neglected get legal status.

Seniors are particularly vulnerable to legal scams. GLS’ senior project provided legal help to over 1,300 seniors in 2015, many of whom were being victimized by scams that threatened their financial security. We also helped seniors with housing issues, credit problems, social security issues, Medicare and Medicaid and end of life legal documents. Our help to seniors is our largest area of practice in terms of number of people helped.

Gulfcoast Legal Services helped 3,392 people with their legal problems in 2015.

CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director John E. Dubrule Esq.
CEO Term Start June 2015
CEO/Executive Director Email
Experience John E. Dubrule, Esq. Executive Director and has been at Gulfcoast of over 35 years as staff attorney, managing attorney and director of training and ligation.
Former CEOs/Executive Directors
John P. Cunningham Esq.Jan 1984 - Mar 2012
Kathleen Mullins J.D.Dec 2012 - Feb 2014
Senior Staff
Jena Blair Esq.Managing Attorney,St. Petersburg; Family Law Unit Director
Mrs. Denyve Boyle CFREDirector of Development
John Dubrule Esq.Director of Litigation and Training
Ms. Tammy Greer MPACOO and Director of Grants and Communication
Lisa Cochrane Murray Esq.Managing Attorney, Bradenton Office
Mary Catherine Rooney Esq.Managing Attorney
Robin Stover Esq.Managing Attorney, Sarasota
Staff & Volunteer Statistics
Full Time Staff 24
Part Time Staff 2
Staff Retention Rate % 86
Professional Development Yes
Contractors 1
Volunteers 86
Management Reports to Board Yes
CEO/Executive Director Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Yes

Other Florida Region IV partners (Bay Area Legal Services, Community Law Program, Legal Aid of Manasota), other Florida legal aid programs, Boley Centers, CASA, SPARCC, RCS The Haven, Hope Family Services, Catholic Charities, Gulf Coast Jewish Family Services, Florida Center for Survivors of Torture, Intercultural Advocacy Institute, Pinellas Homeless Emergency Project, Jewish Family and Children's Service of Sarasota-Manatee, Pinellas Mobile Medical Team, Sarasota County SALT (Seniors and Law Enforcement Together) Council, St. Vincent de Paul, Woman to Woman Program, World Relief of Tampa, Manatee County Foundation, Sarasota Community Foundation, Pinellas Community Foundation, Vera Institute of Justice, United Way of Manatee, United Way of Sarasota,  Juvenile Welfare Board Pinellas County, Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sixth Judicial Court.

External Assessments and Accreditations
Awards & Recognition
Former Board President, Ramon Carrion was awarded the Sixth Judicial Circuit’s Pro Bono AwardChildren's Advocacy Center- Children's Justice Center2015
Steven M Goldstein Award for Obtaining Justice for Homeowners Victimized by Foreclosure Rescue ScamsThe Florida Bar Association2010
Paul Doyle Children’s Advocacy Award First Runner UpThe Florida Bar Foundation2015
The GLS CHILD project was honored for its work at the Annual Florida Bar Foundation Dinner at the Florida Bar Meeting.Florida Bar Foundation2015
Risk Management Provisions
Fundraising Plan No
Communication Plan No
Strategic Plan No
Strategic Plan Years 5
Strategic Plan Adopted Nov 2015
Management Succession Plan No
Continuity of Operations Plan No
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No
Policies and Procedures Yes
Management Comments by Organization

Gulfcoast Legal Services is a law firm specializing in poverty law in civil matters.  Law firms are not required to be licensed, however, all attorneys at GLS are members in good standing of The Florida Bar.  Many are also licensed in other states.  All board members, volunteers and pro bono attorneys are covered under GLS liability insurance. Gulfcoast has been hard hit by the financial downturn and has been forced to cut staff and cut back on services. Gulfcoast’s management team has worked hard to enhance revenues where possible, which has allowed Gulfcoast to preserve its core programs and to continues advocating on behalf of its low income clients. Pro bono attorneys volunteering at GLS offices and co-counseling on many cases have been instrumental in this organization's ability to continue to meet the growing needs of eligible clients with a civil law crisis.  The development plan is currently being revised to reflect the challenges of the next three years.

Other Documents
Board Chair
Board Chair Mr. William H. Weller Esq.
Company Affiliation Attorney
Board Term Mar 2015 to Dec 2016
Board Chair Email
Board Members
Board Members
Professor Kristen David Adams Stetson University College of Law
Mrs. Ama N. Appiah Esq.Attorney
Mr. Keith E. Bass Community Volunteer
Mrs. Shaina Bent We Help Services
Mr. Ramon Carrion Esq.Private Attorney, Immigration
Mrs. Pamela D. Cichon Esq.Attorney
Mr. Edward A. Eager CPACBIZ MHM, LLC
Mr. Charles M. Harris Jr.Attorney, Trenam, Kemker, Scharf, Barkin, Frye, O'Neill & Mullis
Mrs. Margaret K. Kramer Esq.Johnson, Pope, Bokor, Ruppel & Burns, LLP
Mr. William H. Weller Esq.Community Representative
Ms. Elise K. Winters Esq.Elise K. Winters, P.A.
Constituency Includes Client Representation No
Board Ethnicity
African American/Black 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 10
Hispanic/Latino 1
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Gender
Male 5
Female 7
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 99
Board Orientation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 9
Board Meeting Attendance % 68
Board Self-Evaluation Yes
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Board Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
% of Board Making Monetary Contributions 83
% of Board Making In-Kind Contributions 100
Standing Committees
Board Development / Board Orientation
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Strategic Planning / Strategic Direction
Governance Comments by Organization
One challenge is diversifying our board demographics. Our bylaws outline specific geographic requirements. We are addressing this by building better relationships with community members and other lawyers in our service areas.
Another challenge is educating our board on the responsibilities of a nonprofit board and their role as it pertains to daily operations of our organization. We are addressing this by ongoing trainings and implementing a strong board member orientation process.
Current Year Projections
Tax Year Start Month Jan
Tax Year Start Day 01
Tax Year Begins 2017
Tax Year End Month Dec
Tax Year End Day 31
Tax Year Ends 2017
Projected Revenue $2,387,222.00
Projected Expenses $2,424,007.00
Organization has Endowment No
Endowment Spending Policy N/A
Capital Campaign
Currently In a Capital Campaign No
Anticipate Campaign within 5 years? No
Campaign Purpose
Campaign Goal
Amount Raised To Date 0 as of 0
IRS Form 990s
Financial Review
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201520142013
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$2,042,949$1,925,712$1,370,881
Individual Contributions$105,404$134,075$914,255
Investment Income, Net of Losses$531$429$721
Membership Dues$0$0$0
Special Events$0($1,513)($403)
Revenue In-Kind$258,389$175,379$163,950
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201520142013
Program Expense$2,026,977$2,237,835$2,411,102
Administration Expense$360,596$407,617$315,210
Fundraising Expense$122,547$120,192$113,209
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.880.860.84
Program Expense/Total Expenses81%81%85%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue6%6%5%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201520142013
Total Assets$1,601,260$1,341,982$2,099,086
Current Assets$1,479,839$1,188,687$1,527,234
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$357,903
Current Liabilities$763,589$212,076$213,981
Total Net Assets$837,671$1,129,906$1,527,202
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201520142013
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountGovernment Grants - Unspecified $2,042,949Government Grants - Unspecified $1,925,712Government Grants - Unspecified $1,370,881
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, gifts, grants $105,404Net Income from Sale of Inventory $267,356Contributions, gifts, grants $914,255
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountAttorney Fees $49,816Contributions, gifts, grants $134,075Program Service Fees $56,345
CEO/Executive Director Compensation $100,001 - $125,000
Tax Credits No
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities1.945.617.14
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%17%
Financials Comments
Financial Comments by Organization

Despite primary funding sources decreasing award amounts and natural attrition in grant revenue, two of the main funding sources for Gulfcoast Legal Services, Inc., we anticipate a prosperous 2016. The management team and board of directors have discussed and developmed a plan to generate new revenue to our organization. A Director of Development was hired in November 2015 and will be implementing a development plan for intentional engagement of community members, foundations, volunteers and donors. A focus of the Development Director will be to host special events to raise awareness and non-restricted funds. Engagement of strategic law firms for volunteers and donations will increase the number of clients GLS is able serve.

There has been an increase in the number of legal aid organizations in our local communities. This can pose a threat to some organizations, because this means funding sources can decide to split funds between the various organizations. But, we see this as a great partnership opportunity. Our pro bono coordinator is working closely with other legal aid agency on maximizing communications efforts and volunteer opportunities. In the end, more clients are being served.

We are focusing our attention this year to working as efficient as we can. One of the best ways to do this is to maximize community partnerships to create a larger impact on our client’s lives.

Financial Comments by Foundation Foundations and corporations are included with individual contributions as they are not separated in the 990s or audited financial statements.  Financial figures are taken from the Federal 990s.  The tax returns reconcile with the financial statements. 
Nonprofit Gulfcoast Legal Services, Inc.
Address 501 First Avenue North Suite 420
St Petersburg, FL 33731
Phone 727 821-0726 225