(CHICAGO)…. The Illinois Equal Justice Foundation (IEJF) has awarded more than $3.8 million in state grants to 30 nonprofit programs that provide free legal assistance and information to Illinois residents who can’t afford a lawyer – a record amount in the Foundation’s 23-year history.  This increased funding for Fiscal Year 23 was made possible due to the Illinois General Assembly’s passage of an increase in the Civil Legal Aid appropriation to $4 Million.

“We have a responsibility to make sure everyone can access quality legal help, not just those who can afford it,” said Attorney General Kwame Raoul. “I’m pleased the IEJF can fund more organizations this year that help Illinoisans resolve urgent legal issues, such as housing, family law, and consumer problems.”

This year, IEJF Civil Legal Aid grants fund a wide range of legal aid programs, including ones offering help for disabled adults needing social security benefits, representation for seniors battling foreclosure and consumer fraud, and mediation to landlords and tenants involved in eviction cases.

In addition to direct legal representation, the IEJF also supports statewide legal advice helplines and online legal information to help reach people in all of Illinois’ 102 counties.

“Access to legal aid is a game-changer,” said Kendric Cobb, IEJF Board President.  “People who have a lawyer by their side are much more likely to fight an unfair eviction, access the benefits they’ve been wrongfully denied, and protect their families from domestic violence.”

Below is full list of Illinois Equal Justice Foundation FY 2023 grant recipients:

Prairie State Legal Services (Bloomington, Galesburg, Joliet, Kankakee, McHenry, Ottawa, Peoria, Rockford, Rock Island, St. Charles, Waukegan and Wheaton) ($915,000)

Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation (Alton, Champaign, East St. Louis, Carbondale and Springfield) ($900,000)

Coordinated Advice & Referral Program for Legal Services (Cook County) ($275,000)

Equip for Equality (Chicago, Rock Island, Carbondale & Springfield) ($190,000)

Legal Aid Chicago (Cook County) ($175,000)

Illinois Legal Aid Online (Statewide) ($125,000)

Law Center for Better Housing (Cook County) ($125,000)

Cabrini Green Legal Aid (Cook County) ($100,000)

Center for Conflict Resolution (Cook County) ($100,000)

Center for Disability and Elder Law (Cook County) ($95,000)

Resolution Systems Institute (Kane, Winnebago & Kankakee Counties) ($85,000)

Greater Chicago Legal Clinic (Cook County) ($75,000)

Governors State University Foundation (University Park) ($70,000)

Dispute Resolution Institute (Carbondale) ($60,000)

Chicago Volunteer Legal Services (Cook County) ($50,000)

James B Moran Center for Youth Advocacy (Evanston) ($50,000)                      

Public Interest Law Initiative (Statewide) ($50,000)

Ascend Justice (Cook County) ($45,000)

Life Span (Cook County) ($45,000)

North Suburban Legal Aid Clinic (Lake and Cook Counties) ($45,000)

Beyond Legal Aid (Cook County) ($30,000)

Raise the Floor Alliance (Chicago) ($30,000)

Uptown Peoples Law Center (Uptown neighborhood/Chicago) ($26,000)

Legal Council for Health Justice (Chicago) ($25,000)

Alliance of Local Service Organizations (Hermosa, Logan Square, Humboldt Park and West Town neighbors of Chicago) ($20,000)

Chicago House and Social Service Agency (Chicago) ($20,000)

Children’s Legal Center (Chicago) ($20,000)

Farmworker and Landscaper Advocacy Project (Cook County and northern collar counties) ($20,000)

Shriver Center on Poverty Law (Statewide) ($20,000)

Chinese American Service League (Statewide) ($15,010)

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, visit iejf.org.