Legal Aid Service of Collier County puts disaster assistance grant to work
Legal Aid Service of Collier County is using a $96,851 grant from the Community Foundation of Collier County’s Disaster Assistance Fund to support its housing, consumer law, veterans, elder law, and disaster relief efforts.
The grant was applied to maintain the positions of two attorneys and two paralegals in its Disaster Relief Unit Project. Over the 12-month grant term that ended February 4, the unit assisted 473 low-income clients in need, including those facing eviction, foreclosure, and those in need of income maintenance legal services to address basic needs such as food, shelter, medical care, and transportation.
The unit prevented 151 evictions, keeping many vulnerable residents from homelessness including single parents with minor children, disabled or infirm clients, expectant mothers, and the elderly, according to Legal Aid Service of Collier County. The 473 cases handled by the DAF Project Unit impacted the lives of 1,196 individuals and resulted in $580,882 in total economic benefits secured to assist these clients.
“This generous grant from the Community Foundation of Collier County and the donors to its Disaster Assistance Fund came to us at a critical time and allowed our Housing and Consumer Law unit to provide a wide range of disaster relief legal services during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Carol O’Callaghan, deputy executive director of LASCC. “Without this funding, we would not have been able to maintain the staffing levels needed to meet the demand for our services during the pandemic. To have prevented more than 150 evictions and to have provided hundreds of other clients the services they needed during such a difficult time was all made possible through this vital funding.”