FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 28, 2008
WESLACO, Texas – As humanitarian aid efforts begin to help those affected by Hurricane Dolly, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA), the leading provider of legal aid in Texas, is working with disaster victims to address the legal aftermath of the storm.
Hurricane Dolly hit the Rio Grande Valley last week, leaving many neighborhoods flooded or without electricity and water. As families rebuild their lives after the storm, many will face legal issues that could impede their speedy recovery.
Disaster victims encounter a variety of legal issues in rebuilding their lives including denials of insurance claims, problems with a landlord or mortgage company, and price gouging. Individuals may also need legal assistance as they try to obtain disaster-related unemployment or public benefits such as food stamps, Medicaid, or Social Security.
According to TRLA attorney Tracy Figueroa, “There are numerous ways in which disaster victims can be taken advantage of and denied their rights in the aftermath of the hurricane. It is important that people know that they do not have to be victimized twice. TRLA can help them navigate through their legal issues so that they can receive the support needed to rebuild their lives.”
Figueroa, who leads TRLA’s Disaster Assistance team, is helping organize attorneys throughout the Rio Grande Valley to help those needing legal assistance after the hurricane. Last week TRLA began visiting local shelters set up for the disaster. Over the next few weeks, TRLA will expand its efforts to provide free legal assistance throughout the recovery.
“This is going to be a difficult recovery for many families,” added Figueroa. “TRLA is here to help people get the legal support they need.”
Individuals who need legal services related to the hurricane are encouraged to contact the TRLA Disaster Assistance hotline at 1-866-757-1570 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Fridays.
Established in 1970, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Inc. (TRLA) is a nonprofit organization that provides free legal services to low-income and disadvantaged clients in a 68-county service area. TRLA’s mission is to promote the dignity, self-sufficiency, safety and stability of low-income Texas residents by providing high-quality legal assistance and related educational services.