Good news: as part of the omnibus appropriations bill passed yesterday, the Legal Services Corporation will receive an additional $40 million in funding for fiscal year 2009. The timing of the additional funds is critical. Hit hard by the economic downturn, cash-strapped legal aid organizations nationwide are experiencing a tremendous increase in people seeking their services, especially for help with foreclosure cases.
According to their press release, found here, "The additional funding is critical to every one of our programs," LSC President Helaine M. Barnett said. "Low-income individuals and families are increasingly at risk during this economic downturn and our programs are overwhelmed with requests for help."
As part of our Civil Justice Initiative, the Brennan Center for Justice has put together a page chronically the economic downturn impact on civil legal services for the poor—impact on funding, uptick in legal services intake, etc. Click here to read more.