egal Aid Service of Collier County (‘LASCC’) is pleased to announce the impact of a $96,851 grant it received from the Community Foundation of Collier County’s Disaster Assistance Fund. The grant proceeds were used to support the capacity of LASCC’s Housing, Consumer Law, Veterans, Grey Light Elder Law, and Disaster Relief Unit (‘DAF Project’) to provide vital free legal services needed to meet the civil legal needs of Collier County residents impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The grant funds were applied to maintain the positions of two attorneys and two paralegals in LASCC’s DAF Project Unit. Over the 12-month grant term that ended on February 4, 2022, LASCC’s DAF Project Unit assisted 473 low-income clients in need, including those facing eviction, foreclosure, and those in need of income maintenance legal services to address basic needs such as food, shelter, medical care, and transportation.
The DAF Project unit prevented 151 evictions, keeping many vulnerable residents from homelessness including single parents with minor children, disabled or infirm clients, expectant mothers, and the elderly. The 473 cases handled by the DAF Project Unit impacted the lives of 1,196 individuals and resulted in $580,882.14 in total economic benefits secured to assist these clients.
“This generous grant from the Community Foundation of Collier County and the donors to its Disaster Assistance Fund came to us at a critical time and allowed our Housing and Consumer Law unit to provide a wide range of disaster relief legal services during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic,” states Carol O’Callaghan, Deputy Executive Director of LASCC. “Without this funding, we would not have been able to maintain the staffing levels needed to meet the demand for our services during the pandemic. To have prevented more than 150 evictions and to have provided hundreds of other clients the services they needed during such a difficult time was all made possible through this vital funding.”