Veterans Legal Services
Medical-Legal Partnership Expansion
The “justice gap” in America, defined as the difference between low-income individuals’ need for civil legal aid and the resources available to them, is significant. A 2017 study out of the University of Chicago found that only 14% of poor and low-income Americans receive adequate civil legal assistance. Homeless veterans, of which there are more than 900 throughout Massachusetts, routinely rank legal assistance among their greatest unmet needs. While the COVID-19 pandemic has affected virtually every aspect of life, it has disproportionately brutalized those who are economically disadvantaged as well as those living with physical and/or mental disabilities. Veterans Legal Services partners directly with veterans service organizations, including VAMCs, in the Greater Boston area to provide civil legal aid. In doing so, Veteran Legal Services addresses the diverse needs of at-risk veterans, including the many who suffer physical and mental disabilities from their military service. This BWF grant will enable Veterans Legal Services to strengthen their capacity and further their reach to meet the growing demand for civil legal aid in the areas of housing stabilization/eviction prevention, access to medical services, and benefit acquisition.