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Legal Aid receives 2022 Pro Bono Innovation Fund Grant

Posted August 17, 2022
3:00 pm

Ohio Legal Aid Providers Awarded $600,000 in Grants to Improve Pro Bono Services

WASHINGTON—The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) announced today that it is awarding more than $600,000 in Pro Bono Innovation Fund grants to two Ohio legal aid organizations.  Community Legal Aid Services, Inc. (CLASI) will receive $180,764 and The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland will receive $433,243. 

CLASI and Legal Aid of Cleveland are two of 15 legal aid organizations receiving a grant. In total, LSC is awarding $4.75 million to support the growth of pro bono legal services for low-income Americans. 

Last year, 74% of low-income households faced at least one civil legal problem, according to LSC’s recently released Justice Gap reportAlarmingly, low-income Americans received no or insufficient legal help for 92% of their substantial civil legal problems. Expanding pro bono and other volunteer services will allow civil legal aid providers to better address these urgent, unmet needs.

“Meeting the vast legal needs of low-income Americans is a tough job for legal aid providers with limited resources,” said LSC President Ronald S. Flagg. “Engaging pro bono attorneys and volunteers adds a powerful network that multiplies the impact of these organizations.” 

LSC awarded these grants from its Pro Bono Innovation Fund included in its FY 2022 congressional appropriation. Since 2014, LSC has awarded 121 grants totaling more than $35 million. Each organization’s project involves innovative solutions to persistent challenges in pro bono delivery systems that can be replicated by other service providers across the country.

The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland will use its grant to address the housing safety needs of low-income tenants through the Lawyers Advocating for Safe Housing (LASH) project. In addition to eviction defense, the project will identify ways for volunteers to assist with issues that relate to unsafe living situations: housing conditions, rent deposits, lockouts and utility shutoffs. LASH will engage law firm attorneys, corporate counsel and retired attorneys to resolve these legal issues for tenants.

Members of Ohio’s congressional delegation congratulated CLASI and Legal Aid of Cleveland on receiving the pro bono grant. 

“How much money you make shouldn’t determine whether you have fair representation in court,” said Senator Sherrod Brown. “These funds for the Legal aid Society of Cleveland and Community Aid Legal Services will help ensure all Ohioans have the representation they need to protect their rights against debt collectors, banks, and landlords trying to evict them.” 

“Access to fair, equitable, and safe housing is a right that all Americans deserve, regardless of their financial straits or income level,” said Rep. Shontel Brown (OH-11). “The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland has advocated for residents and families for more than a century and is a trusted ally in the Northeast Ohio community. The awarded funding will continue to assist their volunteers and clients in battling housing instability and unsafe living conditions and aid in creating safer communities in the Cleveland area.” 

Original news release published by The Legal Services Corporation: 2022 Pro Bono Grants Totaling $4.75 Million Awarded to Legal Aid Organizations

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