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Staff Spotlight – Introducing Melinda Bellus, Attorney-In-Charge, Yonkers

Melinda will be celebrating 22 years with LSHV this April. She is currently responsible for the oversight of the Yonkers office, which includes developing and maintaining community support and relationships with community-based organizations, mentoring staff in developing their skills and their cases, and ensuring compliance with program standards and LSC requirements.

She was hired as a staff attorney in the Disability Awareness Program (DAP) Unit and worked briefly in the children’s unit and then as part of the government benefits team. After six years, she was able to secure a position in the Elder Unit.

Working with seniors was a desire Melinda had ever since she was in law school where she worked at a law clinic and advocated for seniors. But her love for seniors was inspired by her grandmother. Melinda’s grandmother lived with her family while growing up. Melinda would love to sit and listen to her grandmother’s conversations with her elderly friends, and  learned very young that someone needs to look after people as they age, especially if they don’t have family to do it. Working in the Elder Unit at LSHV allowed her to fulfill that desire.

Melinda’s journey does not stop there. While working in the Elder Unit, she was able to join various elder law bar committees in Westchester, eventually becoming chair of various committees. Melinda has worked as a Supervisor in the Intake Unit, Attorney-In-charge of the White Plains and Peekskill offices and since 2015 in the Yonkers office.

Melinda met her husband, Michael, in acting class of all places! They both wanted to be actors, but both are now lawyers. They have one son, Marc, who is a senior at Muhlenberg College and is majoring in Jewish studies and music.   He will be celebrating his 21st birthday in September at a Mets/Yankees game at Citifield!