The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) announced today that MLSA is one of three legal aid organizations that will receive grants totaling $1 million to help low-income communities respond to the impact of COVID-19. LSC’s Midwest Legal Disaster Coordination Project funds efforts to address crucial disaster-related legal needs by establishing partnerships among legal services providers, volunteer attorneys and disaster response organizations. This funding will support the work of LSC grantees in Minnesota, Missouri and Montana and supplements prior efforts to help low-income communities in the Midwest region prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters.
Legal aid is essential in helping survivors get back on their feet. When a disaster strikes, the vulnerabilities of low-income people are heightened, and the need for legal assistance becomes even more critical. COVID-19 has caused a surge in demand for legal services, as the pandemic continues to disrupt the lives and financial security of people across the country. Survivors need experts who understand the legal issues involved and who can help them file insurance claims, apply for benefits, negotiate with landlords and more.
Montana Legal Services Association will use the $333,334 grant to support our existing Disaster Legal Services program and to hire an additional full-time disaster recovery attorney to help clients navigate legal problems related to COVID-19, such as those related to housing or public benefits. The grant will also support MLSA as we work to launch the Tribal Advocate Incubator Initiative to train and mentor new attorneys living in rural Montana to provide advice and full representation either pro-bono, or at a reduced rate, to Tribal members.
For more information, visit LSC’s media center.