Mertella Burris is Director of the Economic Advocacy and Community Health (EACH) Unit. Mertella joined the staff at Coast to Coast Legal Aid of South Florida (CCLA) after working for 24 years as the Supervising Attorney for the Homeless Legal Rights Project at Legal Aid Service of Broward County. Prior to that, she was an Equal Justice Works Fellow, supported by the Florida Bar Foundation and Greenberg Traurig. Mertella dedicated her time and talent to defending the rights of homeless and indigent persons.
In her current role, she practices in the area of public benefits and supervises staff in Social Security, SNAP (food stamps), reemployment assistance, and access to healthcare cases. A devoted and tireless advocate, Mertella has represented clients in Federal, Circuit, and County Courts, advocating extensively before the Social Security Administration, Office of Disability Adjudication and Review, and the Appeals Council.
Currently, Mertella serves as the Vice Chair of the Taskforce For Ending Homelessness. She is a former Vice Chair of the Broward County Homeless Initiative Partnership’s Local Homeless Providers and Stakeholders Council, and former Scholarship Chair and Treasurer of the TJ Reddick Bar Association. Mertella earned a Juris Doctorate degree from Nova Southeastern University’s Shepard Broad College of Law and is a member of the Florida Bar and Broward County Bar Association.