Need Legal Aid Help? Get Started
Let's Come Together for Transformational Change in Northeast Ohio


Addressing the immediate benefit of federal rescue funds for residents of Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake and Lorain counties.

Public officials like yourself are facing a tremendous opportunity to promote transformational change in Northeast Ohio. The recent special federal funding provided to our local communities can be used in creative, impactful ways to support long-term solutions to problems that have plagued our region for decades.

Civil legal aid plays a critical role in connecting people with basic needs and services so they can thrive and contribute to the economic development of their communities. We propose allocating special federal funds for the provision of civil legal aid through a variety of mechanisms.

Here, we will:

  • Describe the transformative outcomes civil legal aid can produce for your community
  • Outline the sources of funding that can directly catalyze these outcomes, along with examples of successful investments made by other states
  • Chart the connection between funding source, programmatic investment, and outcome

Our team at Legal Aid can partner with you on the responsible spending of these federal dollars.

Legal Aid helps residents of Northeast Ohio of all backgrounds – including those who face the toughest legal challenges: children, veterans, seniors, ill or disabled people, and victims of domestic violence – to effectively navigate the justice system.  Every day, hundreds of our neighbors interact with the civil justice system. A veteran applies for benefits. A homeowner deals with the bank or a mortgage servicer. A consumer is facing a debt collector. A renter fights an unlawful eviction. All of these are legal problems and Legal Aid lawyers work to make sure these neighbors’ rights are protected.

Investments in civil justice efforts like Legal Aid have proven great return on public investment over time1.

For instance, when someone’s home is saved from eviction or foreclosure, the ripple effect extends to school, employment and family stability. That translates into thriving neighborhoods and cities.

A wide range of government programs work at maximum efficiency when people have access to legal services. Employment rates and wages go up and recidivism goes down following legal help to expunge or seal a criminal record. For low-income tenants facing eviction in one community who had full representation, approximately two-thirds remained in their homes compared to one-third of unrepresented tenants.

A recent study focused on civil legal aid’s impact locally demonstrated Legal Aid’s assistance allows individuals and families to secure stability in a wide variety of different areas years after a court case concludes (see more at

Did we spark your interest?

We want to work with you.  Click on this link to let us know.


  1. Researchers at American University created this module to highlight how civil legal aid can both help individuals and make existing programs more effective:
  2. See: “Ohio foreclosures jump in May more than any other state—and more may be on the way.” Weiker, Jim. The Columbus Dispatch. June 17, 2021. Available at:
  3. See “American Rescue Plan Act of 2021,” H.R. 1319—220, Title IX—Committee on Finance, Subtitle M—Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds, Sec. 9901.
  4. See 42 U.S.C. 801, Sec. 602 (a), et seq.
  5. See 42 U.S.C. 801, Sec. 602 (c) (1) (A).
  6. See more info at:
  7. See “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act,” H.R. 740—221, Title V—Coronavirus Relief Funds, Sec. 5001.
  8. CRF’s deadline to spend funds was December 20, 2020, though Congress recent granted a limited extension. FRF funding can be used through December 31, 2024.
  9. See “Pennsylvania House Appropriations Fast Facts,” p. 3, available at
  10. More information about the Texas Eviction Diversion Program is available at
  11. See Texas Supreme Court Misc. Docket No. 20-9128, Approval of Grant Awards of Coronavirus Relief Fund For Essential Legal Services, available at
  12. See “COVID-19 Emergency Civil Legal Aid Services Interim Report” from the Washington State Office of Civil Legal Aid, available at
  13. See Michigan Senate Bill 690 (enrolled), section 506, available at
  14. See “Legal Project Scaling Up to Help Prevent Evictions,” State House News Service, Dec. 21, 2020, available at
  15. More information on the legal assistance program is available at
  16. Ibid.
  17. See “Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021,” H.R. 133—888, Title V—Banking, Subtitle A—Emergency Rental Assistance, Sec. 501.
  18. See “American Rescue Plan Act of 2021,” H.R. 1319—220, Title III—Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, Subtitle B—Housing Provisions, Sec. 3201.
  19. Ibid.
  20. See id. Sec. 3201 (d)(1)(b).
  21. See “U.S. Department of the Treasury Emergency Rental Assistance Frequently Asked Questions,” p. 8, revised March 26, 2021, available at
  22. See “Waters Releases Extended Statement for the Record on the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021: More Relief is Needed, But this Bill is a Step in the Right Direction,” Washington, D.C., Dec. 22, 2020, available at
  23. See “American Rescue Plan Act of 2021,” H.R. 1319—220, Title III—Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, Subtitle B—Housing Provisions, Sec. 3205.
  24. Ibid.
  25. The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act list several examples of supportive services which include, “the provision of legal services for purposes including requesting reconsideration and appeal of veterans public benefits claim denials and resolving outstanding warrants that interfere with an individual’s ability to obtain and retain housing,” and “other supportive services necessary to obtain and maintain housing.” 42 U.S.C. 11360(27)
  26. See id. Sec. 3205 (a)(3).
Quick Exit