$1.2 million grant to help Midwest legal/disaster coordination project

The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) recently announced plans to use a $1.2 million two-year grant to foster strong and sustainable relationships between disaster-preparedness organizations and legal service providers in the Midwest.
LSC grantees in ten Midwestern states will be eligible to apply for funding to create a disaster-response plan, and will be selected through a competitive application process.

The subgrants will allow each of the successful applicants to hire a disaster coordinator, who will engage with local community service providers to create a disaster response plan. LSC will also coordinate nationally with FEMA, the American Red Cross, National Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster, the American Bar Association, and others to launch a national response network integrating legal services with traditional disaster relief.

This project is made possible in part by a grant from the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation.

“This project will allow LSC and its grantees to continue our important work in disaster response in the Midwest,”” said LSC Board Chairman John G. Levi. “The funds will also help LSC collaborate with other national stakeholders to make sure that legal services are routinely included in disaster relief efforts.”

The grant will assist LSC grantees in creating sustainable solutions that address the growing need for civil legal aid in the aftermath of a disaster.

“Legal aid is critical for disaster victims who need to replace identification and other legal documents, resist unlawful evictions, obtain home repairs, avoid consumer scams, and access insurance and other benefits,”” said LSC President James J. Sandman.  “Integrating these services into disaster relief is a smart and strategic way to get communities and individuals on the road to recovery quickly.”

The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) was established by the Congress in 1974 to provide equal access to justice and to ensure the delivery of high-quality civil legal assistance to low-income Americans. The Corporation currently provides funding to 134 independent nonprofit legal aid programs in every state, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories.