(CHICAGO)…. The Illinois Equal Justice Foundation (IEJF) has awarded more than $1.3 million in state grants to 23 nonprofit programs that provide free legal assistance and information to struggling Illinois residents.  This funding for 2022 will help more people resolve urgent and life-changing situations like consumer fraud, domestic violence, and family crises.

“I appreciate the Illinois Equal Justice Foundation’s work to help ensure that thousands of lower-income Illinois residents have access to the legal support they need,” said Attorney General Kwame Raoul. “These grants will fund important legal aid services that allow people throughout Illinois to fight fraud, escape violence, and protect their health and their families.”

The IEJF’s Civil Legal Aid grants were made possible with state funding through the Office of the Illinois Attorney General’s budget.

“Legal problems are often an underlying issue for many people who have fallen on hard times,” said Lauren Meachum, IEJF Board President.  “Through these grants, the IEJF is helping level the playing field for struggling Illinoisans and ensure more people have a fair shot at successful resolution when their home, safety, or livelihood is on the line.”

The IEJF prioritizes funding programs that work on the top legal issues Illinoisans face, such as consumer fraud, family law, including child custody and child support disputes, and access to government benefits.  To reach as many Illinois residents as possible, the IEJF also funds innovative and cost-effective programs such as mobile legal education units, legal aid hotlines, and courthouse based help centers.

Below is full list of Illinois Equal Justice Foundation FY 2022 grant recipients:

The IEJF was created in 1999 through the Illinois General Assembly’s passage of the Equal Justice Act, which recognized the State’s responsibility to provide equal access to the justice system by funding civil legal aid programs. Since its first grant cycle in 2000, the IEJF has awarded more than $47 million in grants to nonprofit programs across Illinois that help people resolve their legal problems and improve their lives.  For more information on the Illinois Equal Justice Foundation, visit iejf.org/iejfwp.