Budget would cut funds for nonprofit that helps people navigate court system


Trump’s plan zeros out funding for the Legal Services Corporation and, in turn, about $2.2 million of Legal Aid of West Virginia’s annual budget of about $10 million.
News Story (West Virginia)

Kate White
Charleston Gazette-Mail
March 16, 2017
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Tags: Funding: Federal

Organizations mentioned/involved: Legal Aid of West Virginia (LAWV)


DETAILS

Money from the state funds the other half of the organization that helps low-income people navigate an increasingly complicated court system, Worthy said. More than half of West Virginians are considered low-income. Seniors, veterans and children make up a significant amount of the organization’s clients, but Worthy said victims of domestic violence is what is assisted most.

“We’re talking about eliminating our core funding for the heart of the work we do,” Worthy said. “We’re the only game in town when it comes to statewide services, civil legal services for low-income and vulnerable folks. … Every state is required to have a legal aid provider to ensure access to justice and we are that entity to West Virginia. There’s nobody else who does what we do.”

In 2016, Legal Aid of West Virginia screened applications from more than 14,000 people, said Worthy. In all, the organization ended up handling about 12,000 cases last year. They handled about the same amount in 2015.