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Cleveland Browns support Legal Aid’s social justice work

Posted December 1, 2020
5:00 am

This year, the Cleveland Browns invested $110,000 in Legal Aid's social justice work.  

Since 1905, Legal Aid has fought for equality and justice by providing civil legal services at no cost to low-income clients who struggle with fundamental issues affecting their safety, health, housing, and economic security. We believe justice should be available to all people, not just those with financial means. And, we recognize the role systemic racism has played in creating and maintaining inequality in our society.

Our work is powered by the desire to:

  • Stand in solidarity with the oppressed and ignored in our community.
  • Remove barriers erected by racism and address the impact of centuries of racism on individuals and families.
  • Identify biases and inequitable systems and then take steps to eradicate them.
  • Work in partnership with others to design and implement systemic solutions to systemic racism.
  • Raise awareness in our community about the systems that contribute to racism, the impact of systemic racism, and the intersection of racism and poverty.

The Cleveland Browns teamed-up with Legal Aid specifically to ensure justice in housing. Pre-COVID, data showed that 9,000 evictions are filed in the City of Cleveland every year –double the national average. The majority of those facing eviction are African-American women with children, and less than 1% are represented by an attorney. Eviction has several negative short and long-term consequences, not the least of which is the displacement, ability to find new housing, and instability with:

  • education: children miss nearly 30% of school days for up to 2 years after an eviction
  • employment: workers are 11-22% more likely to lose their job after an eviction,
  • heath: depression, anxiety, insomnia, increased hospitalizations, lower life expectancy

Tenants who have full legal representation in housing court are more likely to stay in their homes and save on rent and fees. In 2019, Legal Aid attorneys prevented eviction in more than 90%of the cases they handled. Through representation, education, and advocacy work, Legal Aid combats structural racism and breaks down barriers to opportunity for individuals, families, and communities that have been systematically oppressed.

Legal Aid is proud to have the Cleveland Browns supporting this work to promote justice and equity.  Follow #HomeForTheHolidays and #HousingIsAHumanRight throughout the month of December. And please help us raise awareness: share and retweet our posts to promote the social justice issue of housing!

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