Posted October 22, 201912:24 pm
Empowering and Strengthening Ohio's People (ESOP) presented Legal Aid with its 2019 Community Partnership Award at the organization's Annual Meeting on October 22, 2019. The award was bestowed in recognition of Legal Aid's commitment to housing justice.
In her remarks, ESOP Director of Housing Counseling Antoinette Smith said the following:
"The hallmark of a truly great organization is the ability to breathe life into its mission, by lifting that mission off the written page and converting the words into actions that make a positive difference in the world.
"The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland exemplifies this value on a daily basis. Its passionate attorneys and tireless staff secure justice and resolve fundamental legal problems for vulnerable, low-income members of our community by providing high-quality legal services free of charge.
"Since 2008, when Cleveland was the national epicenter of the foreclosure crisis, The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland and ESOP have partnered to combat predatory lenders in the courts and help preserve the American Dream for thousands of Ohio homeowners.
"While the mortgage foreclosure crisis has waned in recent years, our partnership has continued through a collaboration that helps identify and battle emerging issues related to economic justice - including property-tax foreclosures, utilities, healthcare and basic needs.
"Legal Aid converts mission into action by representing and defending those in our community who cannot defend themselves, which is the essence of this award. On behalf of ESOP, [Ana Gonzalez, ESOP’s Senior Housing Counselor] and I are proud to recognize The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland as ESOP’s Community Partnership Award winner."