Three Texas legal aid providers — Legal Aid of Northwest Texas (LANWT), Lone Star Legal Aid (LSLA) and Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA) — will receive a collective $2.5 million from Legal Services Corporation (LSC) to assist with providing legal services to low-income clients impacted by Winter Storm Uri and other severe weather events in 2020 and 2021, LSC announced Wednesday.
LANWT is receiving the largest chunk ($1.44 million), while LSLA and TRLA are receiving $866,760 and $251,529, respectively, as reimbursement for natural disaster legal services they have already provided to clients in 2020 and 2021.
LANWT, LSLA and TRLA are three of 19 organizations nationwide that are receiving project grants for recent natural disasters. LSC, a Washington, D.C.-based independent nonprofit established by Congress in 1974, received $40 million from Congress for this effort as part of a $28.6 billion emergency supplemental appropriation effort passed by Congress in September.
LANWT plans to use the grant to hire staff for a dedicated disaster response legal team and a project coordinator, who will provide outreach and direct legal services to disaster survivors, LSC’s press release said. LANWT will also use the $1.44 million for a mobile office that will provide on-site legal information and intake as well as disaster response equipment for the team, including laptops, portable hotspots and printers.
Several members of Texas’ congressional delegation voiced their support for LSC’s grant money.
Rep Lizzie Fletcher (TX-7), a former partner in Houston at Ahmad Zavitsanos & Mensing, said in a statement that LSC’s money “will provide meaningful, direct assistance for Texans struggling to recover from the storm who need it the most.
“I am grateful for this partnership with our community and with the lawyers and organizations who represent and serve members of our community every day,” she said.