Legal Aid Receives Financial Support from El Paso Bar Foundation

Contact:
Cynthia Martinez, Communications Director * 512-374-2764 * cmartinez@trla.org

EL PASO, Texas – May 9, 2014 – Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA) has received a grant of $1321 from the El Paso Bar Foundation to support an educational initiative aimed at empowering the El Paso homeless community with knowledge of their legal rights.

The funding will go towards TRLA’s Legal Clinic for the Homeless, a program that conducts outreach and educational presentations to help El Paso’s homeless population. As part of the grant, TRLA will update and distribute its StreetSmart manual in both English and Spanish. StreetSmart includes information on topics relevant to the homeless such as camping,public bathing, criminal trespassing, disorderly conduct, curfews, controlled substances, and panhandling. The manuals also include information on local resources, including shelters and community services.

“With the support of the El Paso Bar Foundation we hope to continue to educate the homeless on their legal rights and how local regulations impact them,” said TRLA Executive Director David Hall. “By doing so, our goal is to help decrease negative interactions between the homeless and law enforcement.”

TRLA’s Legal Clinic for the Homeless has working relationships with the thirty-three homeless shelters in El Paso including emergency shelters, transitional living shelters, and single resident occupancies. TRLA advocates conduct outreach sessions throughout the year, meeting with shelter residents to address their legal needs. The StreetSmart manual is distributed at these events so that individuals can retain a legal guide to help them through situations they face on a daily basis.

Added Hall, “This grant will allow us to reach out to more than 500 homeless individuals in the El Paso area this year. That will make a big impact in the lives of a vulnerable population.”

Established in 1970, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Inc. (TRLA) is a nonprofit organization that provides free civil 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 civil legal assistance and related educational services. For more information, visit us online at www.trla.org.

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