By Cherri Gregg

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Community Legal Services provides free civil law services to low income families throughout Philadelphia. This past week, the non-profit cut the ribbon on a brand new state of the art office building in North Philadelphia.

Located at the corner of Broad and Erie, the 18,000-plus square foot building was constructed from the ground up and represents an investment in the community meant to reflect the excellence of the services provided inside.

“We made the building to feel like a wonderful place to be, a place of relief,” says Carol Horn-Penn, CLS deputy director. She says the $8.5 million structure was built with the help of funds from state, city and charitable donors.

“There’s privacy built into the building,” she says. “We have full scale audio visual, which allows us to talk to other programs and law firms across the city. We also have a conference room that we built to facilitate our ability to open our building up for public access because North Philadelphia does not have very much meeting space.”

Penn says the building is located 15 steps from the SEPTA-Broad Street Line stop near Erie Avenue. She says the building is ADA certified and uses green technology.

“We included in the building a green roof so we can offset rainwater runoff,” she says. “We have an interior court yard so that insures light and air to all offices. But it also gives clients a place to go and sit and relax.”

CLS employs 40 attorneys and has two offices. For more info, go to