Legal Aid of Western Ohio, Inc. (LAWO) will receive $350,000 from the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) to support individuals and client communities seeking to rebuild and recover from the tornadoes that devastated the community on Memorial Day 2019.
Legal aid is essential in helping survivors of the tornadoes get back on their feet. Survivors need help with the legal issues involved in securing temporary housing, filing insurance claims, replacing important legal documents, negotiating with landlords to make necessary repairs, and more.
LSC’s grant will support LAWO’s Tornado Recovery Project to identify and contact all survivors potentially eligible for legal aid. The project will provide information on legal rights and available assistance, conduct client intake, offer comprehensive legal help, and work with affected communities to help rebuild housing and restore stability.
“We greatly appreciate receiving this grant from the Legal Services Corporation. This funding will allow us to work with individuals, neighborhoods, and community partners to support those affected by the tornadoes,” said LAWO Executive Director Kevin Mulder. “Much work remains to be done, and we look forward to assisting with the long-term recovery and rebuilding efforts.”
The funding comes as part of the $15 million LSC received to support the delivery of legal services to those impacted by natural disasters. That funding was part of the $19.1 billion Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act of 2019.
“Legal services providers are a critical component of comprehensive disaster relief for survivors facing wrongful evictions, denials of insurance claims and benefits, and consumer scams,” said LSC President James J. Sandman. “We are grateful to Congress for providing funds to ensure that low-income disaster survivors get the help they need in the aftermath of a disaster.”
Members of the Ohio congressional delegation applauded the grant.
Senator Sherrod Brown: “Every Ohioan should have access to the legal services and representation they need during financial hardships, especially those caused by natural disasters. These funds for Legal Aid of Western Ohio will help ensure Ohioans have the legal assistance to secure housing, file insurance claims, replace important legal documents and make repairs they need to get back on their feet.”
Representative Bob Latta (OH-5): “Communities across western Ohio have yet to recover from the tornadoes that devastated homes, schools, and businesses earlier this year. Ohioans need relief, and I am proud that thanks to the Disaster Supplemental Relief Act that I supported in the House, the Legal Aid of Western Ohio will be able to create the Tornado Recovery Project. This project will help restore stability to impacted communities by ensuring survivors are granted the legal resources they need in order to rebuild their lives.”