The Illinois Access to Civil Justice Council unanimously approved grants to the nine nonprofit organizations listed below on May 11, 2017, totaling $1,224,269. These grants were presented to and approved by the IL Equal Justice Foundation Grant Committee on May 12, 2017.
Coordinated Advice and Referral Program for Legal Service (CARPLS) – $410,000
To establish a statewide telephone hotline that will serve as the primary entry point for the IL-AFLAN. The hotline will provide advice, brief services, and referrals to thousands of qualifying active duty military personnel, veterans, reservists, and members of the national guard.
Prairie State Legal Services – $195,000
Bloomington, Galesburg, Joliet, Kankakee, McHenry, Ottawa, Peoria, Rockford, Rock Island, St. Charles, Waukegan, and Wheaton
To fund general legal aid and veteran benefits appeals services for hundreds of people in Northern and Central Illinois via a designated project point person and portions of several staff attorney salaries spread across PSLS offices. Plans include cooperation with the Lovell VA Health Care Center and to take referrals from the hotline across PSLS’ service area.
Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation – $183,369
Alton, Champaign, East St. Louis, Carbondale, and Springfield
To fund two medical legal partnerships (MLPs), an existing MLP with the VA Illiana Health Care System via Land of Lincoln’s Champaign office, the other a new MLP with the Marion VA via the Carbondale office. Additionally, a new staff attorney will be located in the Metro-East area to coordinate with Scott Air Force Base. Plans also include services to hundreds of people and accepting referrals from the hotline across Land of Lincoln’s service area.
LAF – $180,000
To support the work of LAF’s Veterans Rights Project, which provides legal assistance in the areas of housing, financial stability/benefits, health and safety, and medical and service record assistance. Plans include records clinics at Jesse Brown VA and Hines VA and accepting hotline referrals.
Chicago Volunteer Legal Services (CVLS) – $86,900
To create a pro bono program that will accept and place general legal aid cases with 100 trained and supervised pro bono attorneys. Plans include family law cases and accepting hotline referrals.
John Marshall Law School Veterans Legal Support Center and Clinic – $64,500
To provide discharge upgrades and VA benefits appeals services. Plans include the hiring of an attorney-fellow to augment services, making and accepting hotline referrals, and building on the Urban-Rural partnership with SIU Law.
Southern Illinois University School of Law Veterans Legal Assistance Program – $64,500
Perry, Franklin, Hamilton, White, Jackson, Williamson, Saline, Gallatin, Union, Johnson, Pope, Hardin, Alexander, Pulaski, Massac Counties
To provide discharge upgrades and VA benefits appeals services. Plans include the hiring of an attorney-fellow to augment services and pro bono outreach, making and accepting hotline referrals, and building on the Urban-Rural partnership with John Marshall Law School.
Loyola University of Chicago School of Law Veterans Legal Clinic – $20,000
To establish a new Veterans Legal Clinic, housed within the Community Law Center. The Clinic will provide general legal aid services and will partner with the School of Social Work to bring social services referrals and services to veterans with legal needs. Plans include rigorous data collection and analysis and making and accepting hotline referrals.
Center for Disability and Elder Law (CDEL) – $20,000
To support CDEL’s Veterans Legal Clinic, which has been in operation at the Jesse Brown VA since 2015. Plans include accepting and making hotline referrals and disability and elder law services, including adult guardianships, estate planning, housing, and more.