North Platte, NE–Legal Aid of Nebraska is pleased to announce it is holding its quarterly statewide Board of Directors meeting on April 18 in North Platte. The meeting will take place from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on April 18, in the second floor conference room, Wells Fargo Bank Building, 315 North Dewey. The meeting is open to the public, and is hosted by Board Member Terry Waite of the local firm Waite, McWha and Heng.
The statewide Board of Directors, composed of leaders from Nebraska’s legal and civic communities, is meeting in North Platte to highlight and discuss the growing scope and range of Legal Aid’s services across western Nebraska. In its North Platte office, for example, Legal Aid is expanding its services and hiring new legal staff.
“It’s a troubling fact that almost 9 out of 10 civil legal problems experienced by low-income families receive inadequate or no legal help. This is a big problem, as seemingly simple yet critical unmet legal problems drive low-income families deeper into poverty, and burdens communities, both urban and rural,” said Milo Mumgaard, Executive Director of Legal Aid. “At Legal Aid, we know our free legal help is often the one thing that stops and reverses this tragic course. We are excited that Legal Aid is making a renewed commitment to bringing high-quality legal services to low-income Nebraskans to every part of the state, especially in western Nebraska.”
The Board will be highlighting these growing services across western Nebraska, especially the new REACH Initiative, now coming to North Platte. This initiative is placing Legal Aid staff attorneys and other legal staff in its rural offices to serve victims of domestic violence and help them rebuild their lives, working closely with community partners, agencies, and the courts.
“The REACH Initiative is a natural addition to our services in North Platte, and we are excited about recruiting and hiring new staff,” said Mumgaard. “These efforts are building on a great foundation. Not only do we have experienced, excellent local leadership through Managing Attorney Jeff Eastman, but so much history of Legal Aid’s role and effectiveness in the entire region. Interested applicants can find out more about the job at our website.”
In 2018, Legal Aid launched a three year strategic plan to focus and expand its services, insuring its resources are used most efficiently on the most significant civil legal needs of eligible clients. These legal needs are in the areas of family, housing, income, benefits, and consumer debt law.
In North Platte, plans for the next three years include increasing legal and office staff, providing more in-office and in-community hours, developing new community partnerships, and launching new legal services (such as a self-help assistance “Access to Justice Center”).
The Board will also be promoting North Platte’s upcoming “Giving Day” Wednesday, May 2, and the opportunity to double all donations to Legal Aid. An anonymous donor is matching, dollar for dollar, every donation to this once a year opportunity to direct financial support to Legal Aid’s services.
“We already have many donors and supporters in the North Platte area, and this matching offer is a tremendous opportunity to see donations go so much further,” said Mumgaard. “We look forward to investing these dollars right here as we expand and try to meet the growing demand for our services.”
Legal Aid is the only statewide provider of free civil legal assistance to low-income Nebraskans. With eight offices, including in North Platte for over 30 years, Legal Aid seeks to level the playing field for low-income Nebraskans, fostering a fairer and more just legal system. Legal Aid “makes equal justice happen” by serving low-income Nebraskans with some of life’s toughest legal challenges- families fighting wrongful evictions, women trapped in abusive relationships, children needing a stable home, wage earners losing what little they have to abusive debt collectors, veterans denied rightfully earned benefits- all needing legal help to solve their problems.
Individuals in need of legal assistance can apply for free services at Legal Aid’s website, www.legalaidofnebraska.org, or through the Legal Aid AccessLine, 1-877-250-2016.
In 2017, Legal Aid’s eight offices statewide served over 24,000 people, and expect these numbers to increase as new staff and resources are added in the next three years.