Grant award could benefit homeless veterans

Published 12:00 pm Wednesday, November 8, 2023

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Legal Services Alabama (LSA) was awarded funding from the new Legal Services for Homeless Veterans and Veterans At-Risk for Homelessness Grants (LSV-H) from the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Veterans who are homeless or at risk for homelessness often face legal issues that make it difficult for them to obtain or maintain stable housing. Factors like economic instability, mental health issues and lack of affordable housing contribute to the problem.

The Legal Services for Veterans (LSV) program aims to increase access to legal services to eligible Veterans through the award of grant funds and by promoting Medical Legal Partnerships and VA-affiliated legal clinics throughout the Veterans Health Administration (VHA).

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Eligible individuals include Veterans who are homeless or at risk for homelessness who have a need for legal services authorized under the grant program.

LSA services for Veterans under the grant include:

Housing – eviction defense, representation in landlord-tenant cases, and representation in foreclosure cases

Family Law – assistance in court proceedings for child support and custody, divorce, estate planning and family reconciliation

Income Support – assistance in obtaining public benefits

Consumer Law – matters related to debt collection, garnishments, usury, fraud, deceit and financial exploitation

Other free legal services available for Veterans include access to healthcare, employment law matters, protective orders and matters related to intimate partner violence, requests to upgrade the characterization of a discharge or dismissal of a former member of the Armed Forces under 10 U.S.C. 1553.

To reduce recidivism and facilitate the overcoming of reentry obstacles in employment or housing, covered legal services related to criminal defense include defense in matters symptomatic of homelessness, such as outstanding warrants, fines, driver’s license revocation, and citations, as well as requests to expunge or seal a criminal record.

LSV is a component of the Veterans Justice Programs (VJP) within the Veterans Homeless Programs Office.