For individuals or families living in poverty, navigating the legal system can be difficult. Many in our community face homelessness, hunger, violence and other challenges because they don’t have access to the resources they need.
Community Legal Aid Services is a non-profit law firm in northeast Ohio that provides services to low-income individuals and families, as well as underserved populations such as those with disabilities; veterans; the elderly and residents with language, cultural or educational barriers. Their goal is to help their clients regain control and stabilize their lives by securing the benefits they’ve earned, reduce violence and discrimination and preserve their dignity and independence.
Committed to the ideal that all people should have the opportunity to control, improve and enrich their lives and communities, Community Legal Aid Services’ mission seeks to help those in poverty overcome the chaos brought on by legal troubles. In addition to their focused support of low-income families and special populations, their work centers around three key areas – preserving access to affordable and safe housing; maintaining economic stability and ensuring safety from domestic violence, stalking and sexual assault.
AEP Ohio recently announced that the American Electric Power Foundation awarded a $200,000 grant to Community Legal Aid Services as part of the Foundation’s Delivering on the Dream: Social and Racial Justice grant program, a five-year, $5 million commitment to provide resources for organizations with a mission and programs dedicated to eliminating social and racial disparities and advancing equity.
“Community Legal Aid makes a tangible difference for our neighbors who need and deserve access to legal services,” said Marc Reitter, president and chief operating officer of AEP Ohio. “This grant will help ensure everyone has an opportunity for justice.”
“We are honored to continue fighting for racial and social justice as a Delivering on the Dream grant recipient,” said Steven McGarrity, executive director of Community Legal Aid. “Our mission is grounded in equal access to and treatment under our laws and legal system, and we are proud to join forces with AEP Ohio and the AEP Foundation to further that mission.”
In addition to Community Legal Aid Services, Delivering on the Dream grants have also been awarded to Zora’s House, Catholic Social Services Our Lady of Guadalupe Center and the YWCA of Columbus, all of which promote and propel efforts in social and racial justice.
Know of an organization doing great work to advance positive social and racial justice outcomes? Tell us more in the comments below.