Sacto 9-1-1
April 19, 2013
Ask Sacto 911 Crime Q&A: Any lasting legacy of public defender who championed the homeless?

Bee reporters answer questions about area crime news, trends and other issues.

QUESTION: What can you tell me about any lasting legacy of a public defender, Tommy Clinkenbeard, who founded a legal clinic at Loaves & Fishes and was very involved with the Death Penalty Focus?
Submitted by: Uncle Bud, Ozawkie, Kan.

ANSWER: Tommy Clinkenbeard, a Sacramento County public defender, started a legal clinic in 2000 to aid homeless people.

Clinkenbeard initially gave presentations on civil rights to Loaves & Fishes' homeless guests. But he received so many questions that he decided to start the clinic and got others from the public defenders office on board, according to a story in The Bee.

Clinkenbeard died of esophageal cancer in July 2006 at age 51. His son announced at the time that Clinkenbeard had willed a gift of $10,000 to keep the clinic going and that it would bear Tommy Clinkenbeard's name.

According to its website, the Tommy Clinkenbeard Legal Clinic continues to operate at the Loaves & Fishes site. It is now operated as a special project of Legal Services of Northern California, which has expanded the clinic's services to include civil legal assistance and education on a variety of legal issues facing the homeless population. Volunteer attorneys provide legal consultations on health care, public benefits, housing an veterans benefits.

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