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Partnership to Extend Justice in Lorain County

Posted December 15, 2021
4:11 pm

Connect to a Cause with the Community Foundation of Lorain

Legal Aid raised $1,354 through this year’s “Connect to a Cause” fundraiser, an all-day, virtual event that brought a total of $277,000 to 50 organizations that serve residents of Lorain County. The event, hosted by the Community Foundation of Lorain County, serves as a showcase of community programs that serve Lorain County.

This second annual event was held on September 16, and included a Facebook Live featuring guests from participating organizations - including Legal Aid. The Community Foundation of Lorain supports Legal Aid not only through Connect to a Cause, but also through its responsive grantmaking and an special endowment fund for Legal Aid in Lorain County.

Housing Justice Advocacy for Lorain Residents

In September, Legal Aid attorneys Jessica Baggett and Dinola Phillips penned an opinion editorial that was published in the Lorain Morning Journal. Jessica and Dinola advocated for the rights of people who live in the Bruce Towers Apartments complex, a building that the City of Lorain recently declared a “nuisance.” An excerpt of the piece is below; click here to read the full article.

...the City began a chain of legal proceedings that may culminate in the evacuation of all residents and potentially a building demolition. Despite the best efforts of local nonprofits, some residents will be left without housing. The costs to the City of Lorain from increased homelessness, increased COVID exposure, and the building demolition are substantial...

 Bruce Towers tenants have specific rights in this situation. As a community, we must work collectively and thoughtfully to create solutions to this housing problem that respect the dignity of all people.

 For example, instead of allowing residents to be displaced, the community could call for a receivership of Bruce Towers. A receiver is a person or organization appointed by a court to temporarily manage a property. Tenants can petition a court to obtain a receiver.

 Displacing Bruce Towers residents is a mere Band-Aid that perpetuates the power imbalance between absent landlords and vulnerable tenants... We can and should work with the tenants in Bruce Towers to hold their landlord accountable and support their right to safe housing. Calling for a receivership of Bruce Towers Apartments is a strong first step.

Brief Advice Clinics are back for Lorain residents

After a 20 month pause, Legal Aid reinstated in-person Brief Advice and Referral clinics. These events have traditionally been an opportunity for people to meet one-on-one with an attorney and get advice at a trusted neighborhood location. El Centro hosted the first in-person clinic in Lorain County on October 26. Both Legal Aid staff and volunteer attorneys met with people who needed brief advice on a variety of civil legal topics. These events will continue to have virtual options alongside the traditional in-person clinic model. Click here for more on upcoming clinics.

This article was published in Legal Aid's "Poetic Justice" newsletter, Volume 18 Issue 3 in December 2021.  See full issue at this link: “Poetic Justice” Volume 18 Issue 3 – Legal Aid Society of Cleveland (

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