Watch the message from the executive directors at Advocates for Basic Legal Equality (ABLE), Inc., and Legal Aid of Western Ohio (LAWO), Inc.:
Thank you for giving us time to inform you about a drastic loss of funding that will have a traumatic effect on Dayton’s nonprofit legal aid law firms.
Advocates for Basic Legal Legal Equality, Inc. and Legal Aid of Western Ohio, Inc. stand to lose between $800,000 to $1.2 million in expected funding reductions this year. The Funding declines are due to recession-era level interest rates that affect the Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts and decreased revenue from state court filing fees stemming from fewer hearings during the pandemic.
That plunging loss could jeopardize the number of clients that we can serve when they need us most.
Our nonprofit firms are rallying to offset the shortfall by mounting an Emergency Fund Drive this week. It is separate from our annual campaign that will occur later.
The lack of additional funds will hamper us from providing legal assistance to thousands of disadvantaged people at a time when they need us more than ever. They need our help securing benefits to provide income after they lose their jobs. They need help overcoming illegal evictions and securing protection from an escalation of domestic violence, and scams against elderly people.
Angela Lloyd, Executive Director of the Ohio Access to Justice Foundation said in a recent National Association of IOLTA Programs news release, “We are deeply concerned that there will be insufficient funding to support Ohio’s legal aid programs.”
You have been such loyal supporters of ABLE and LAWO that we wanted to make you aware of the financial crisis before us and ask and encourage you to give to our Emergency Fund Drive.
Please help by donating and encouraging others to do the same. Under the Federal Stimulus Plan this year, a donation of up to $300 for a single person and $600 for married couples are tax-deductible.
Your contribution will make a substantial difference in the lives of thousands of people in this community.
Thank you and best regards.