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News for Community Partners from Legal Aid

Posted May 15, 2019
3:16 pm

Dear Community Partner: Please see important information about the following topics in the message below –

Questions? Contact Anne Sweeney, Managing Attorney for Community Engagement, at


Legal Aid Updates:

Do you work with aspiring or established entrepreneurs or small business owners?  We want to hear their voice!  Please spread the word and invite entrepreneurs to attend Building Community Through Entrepreneurship on June 5, 2019.  Entrepreneurship provides a powerful pathway out of poverty, but for those with low-income, starting a business often poses a new set of challenges.  The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland and its partners are committed to ensuring ALL entrepreneurs have access to the services and resources they need.  We have invited MORTAR to Cleveland to meet with entrepreneurs from the community to hear their experiences with starting, building, or growing their businesses in Northeast Ohio.  MORTAR launched in Cincinnati in 2014 and supports entrepreneurs through a framework that nurtures non-traditional entrepreneurs by providing practical tools to help them develop, fund, and implement promising business ventures.  MORTAR’s goal is to create a local ecosystem and economy where entrepreneurs of all backgrounds and colors can not only participate, but also transfer economic wealth and ownership to future generations.  Register for the entrepreneur roundtable here.

Legal Aid is hiring another social worker to join our Community Engagement Group! The Legal Aid social work program helps address barriers our clients face to effectively participating in their legal representation.  The person hired will work with older adults, young mothers, people struggling with addiction, mental health consumers, families who are homeless, victims of domestic violence, community groups and others. Our goal is to support our clients in achieving and sustaining the best possible legal outcome, and to contribute to their long-term security and stability through supportive services and systemic advocacy.  Read more about the social work position at Legal Aid here.


Local Updates:

Tax lien scam in Cuyahoga County.  The Cuyahoga County Department of Consumer Affairs warns residents of tax lien scams threatening people with seizure of property, Social Security benefits, and tax refunds. For more information or for tips to avoid imposter scams click here.

Micro enterprise pilot program for budding entrepreneurs in Ashtabula. My Neighborhood Collaborative and St. Peter’s Church are implementing a micro enterprise program to provide equipment and resources needed for participants to become vendors at craft shows, vendor fairs and street bazaars. Applicants must live in the City of Ashtabula. For more information, see this informational sheet or email or call My Neighborhood Collaborative at 440.228.1471.

The next cohort of The Parent Project to begin May 28th. This program empowers parents or guardians of adolescents in improving communication and dynamics, preventing or intervening in alcohol or drug use, improving school attendance and performance and finding resources to support their family. This free, 10-week series begins Tuesday, May 28th at Community Counseling Center at 2801 C Court, Ashtabula, Ohio 44004.  For more information, see this informational flyer.To inquire or register, contact Kim Goats at 440.998.4210 or at

Cleveland Neighborhood Progress’s Clean and Green Cleveland trailer is now available! Cleveland residents and community groups can rent landscaping tools and cleanup supplies to assist with beautification and clean-up efforts in Cleveland’s neighborhoods for free between April and October 2019. Reservations for the trailer can be made here. If you have questions, contact Nina Holzer a

CHN Housing Partners recently expanded the Family Stability Initiative. This program provides housing support to families who may be at-risk of an eviction or foreclosure. Eligible families must live in the City of Cleveland, have school-aged children living in the household, and have an income/means of covering their basic living expenses moving forward. CHN can provide up to $1,250 in direct assistance to families for items such as: rent or mortgage payments, utility bills, or property taxes. Families are also screened for other needs and will be referred to partner agencies or other CHN programs as needed. Please contact Kate Carden at 216.325.1150 or for more information.

The Bail Project is coming to Cleveland and they are hiring! The Bail Project is a non-profit organization working to end mass incarceration by disrupting the money bail system ‒ one person at a time. They are hiring Bail Disruptors who pay bail for people in local jails, meet with clients, remind them about upcoming court dates, and refer them to necessary services to support them after release. For more detail about the project and the job posting, click here.


Ohio Updates:

Equality Ohio launches the Equality Ohio Legal Clinic. After hearing from LGBTQ people who are in a bind and often unable to navigate systems that are not set up for LGBTQ people, Equality Ohio decided to start free legal clinics to address this gap. The free legal clinic offers many free legal services, like consumer law (such as fraud and identity theft), family law, civil rights, administrative help (such as SSI or disability) and more for people with incomes within 300% of the federal poverty level. The clinic can be accessed by calling 855-LGBT-LAW or filling out an intake form here.

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) approved an application by AT&T Ohio to end its participation in the federal Lifeline program. AT&T Ohio will stop providing Lifeline discounts to most of its landline customers on June 11, 2019. Lifeline is a federally funded program that provides monthly discounts to eligible consumers of landline, wireless and broadband services. Those interested in keeping their discount through the Lifeline program will need to find another telephone provider. A list of companies offering Lifeline discounts can be found at Affected AT&T customers in Ohio who cannot find an alternative Lifeline provider are encouraged to notify the PUCO by August 10, 2019. The PUCO will help customers find an alternative Lifeline provider and if one does not exist, AT&T Ohio will continue to provide a discount for one additional year. More information and a map of the relinquished area can be found here.

New payday lending regulations went into effect April 27th, 2019. Provisions of the Ohio Fairness in Lending Act (HB123) enacts consumer protections to end the cycle of debt. For more information about these new protections see this overview.


National Updates:

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention Health Alert Network has issued an update on widespread outbreaks of hepatitis A. Multiple states across the country have reported outbreaks, primarily among people who use drugs and people experiencing homelessness. Sever complications have been reported, sometimes leading to liver transplantation or death. The update provides background on the hepatitis A outbreaks and a series of recommended strategies for public health departments, healthcare providers, and other partners serving affected populations.

Legal Aid will be in the neighborhood!  Click here for a printable flyer – or see all of Legal Aid’s upcoming FREE legal advice clinics by visiting our online calendar!