As Connecticut Legal Services’ staff reflects on one of the most memorable years in our nation’s history, we are grateful for the role that supporters such as you played in helping us face this past year’s challenges. Our clients have lost their jobs, struggled to help their children learn remotely, feared eviction from their homes, experienced an increase in family violence, and struggled to meet their basic needs. Our clients came to us in desperation and your support made our help possible. One such client is Nancy.
Nancy, a mother of three, came to CLS after one of many beatings she received at the hands of her husband. She was visibly bruised and frightened when she approached CLS for help. Nancy was still living with her abuser at the time. Her CLS attorney helped her file charges against her husband, resulting in his arrest. CLS helped Nancy obtain a restraining order, file for divorce, and get a temporary order of custody of her children. CLS also helped Nancy and her children obtain shelter with a domestic violence program and access the services that program provides. As a result, Nancy’s older son began receiving therapy to help him deal with the abuse he witnessed in the household and his resulting Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
With temporary safety achieved, Nancy’s CLS attorney began working toward Nancy’s longer-term stability. After guiding her through the process of securing appropriate and safe housing, Nancy’s CLS attorney helped her apply for subsistence benefits to make sure that Nancy could feed her children and make ends meet while she worked to get back on her feet. Because of CLS’ help, Nancy and her children are living in safety and working towards financial stability.
We need your support more than ever as we continue to address the consequences of the global pandemic on the low-income community of Connecticut. Please consider making a gift to CLS’ Campaign for Justice so that we can help Nancy and others who are struggling during these unprecedented times.
Connecticut Legal Services and its partners fought to get Paid Family Sick Leave legislation passed in Connecticut. It is set to begin on January 1, 2021 and benefits will be accessible the following year. The Governor announced a new website that will help all residents navigate the program. Check it out here…
State of Connecticut Temporary RentalHousing Assistance Program (TRHAP)
The State of Connecticut with financial support from the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority has launched a rental assistance program for Connecticut residents impacted by COVID-19, administered through the Department of Housing:
Potential applicants will be directed to a Centralized Call Center for Threshold Eligibility, after which a detailed application must be completed, including verification of documentation.
Initial priority for assistance will be targeted at individuals and families who have been denied unemployment assistance from the Department of Labor.
If you are unemployed/under-employed and have not yet filed for unemployment assistance, you should do so as soon as possible.
Please make every attempt to remain in contact with your landlord, and to make rental payments.
Beginning 8 am on Wednesday, July 15, call the number below and speak to a Call Center Representative to determine if you qualify for TRHAP assistance. For
The Legal Services program in Connecticut will be hosting a conversation with U.S. Senator Chris Murphy on Wednesday, July 1st, 2020 at 1 pm on racial equity.
GHLA, CT Legal Services, and New Haven Legal Assistance Association are hosting a Legal Services Conversation with U.S. Senator Chris Murphy. Moderated by Alison Weir of GHLA and Kristen Noelle Hatcher of CT Legal Services, we will be discussing race equity issues, including:
• Evictions, Housing & Rental Assistance • Education & School Resource Officers • Employment, COVID 19, PPE & Return to Work • HUSKY and Health Equity • Nursing Home Safety
This is a Zoom meeting. Time: Jul 1, 2020 01:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada) RSVP/Questions: RSVPBriefing@ghla.org
The U.S. Supreme Court has found that the Trump administration could not arbitrarily terminate the DACA program. CLS has represented many applicants and recipients of DACA. We have found them to be highly motivated, productive youth who contribute greatly to our society. We celebrate this decision with them.
Statistics align with our experience. Most DACA recipients have a job. Approximately half continue to pursue their educations. Many are working in health related professions, working daily to help those affected by COVID-19. Without DACA they could not work. They could face deportation to countries they may not even remember.
Because the Supreme Court decided the case on the technical ground that the arbitrary termination of the program violates the Administrative Procedures Act, it leaves open the possibility that the government may try to comply with the APA in a new effort to terminate DACA. CLS hopes that instead the administration will recognize the benefits conferred on our society by these young people. Rather than try again to end the DACA program, they should propose to Congress that it pass the Dream Act, creating a path to permanent residence for people born abroad who have grown up in the United States.
As a legal aid organization dedicated to removing barriers to justice, we are outraged over the senseless killings of the last several weeks – Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and the persecution of Christian Cooper. Those names call up the most recent public injustices. We are outraged at what in reality goes on each and every week in the U.S. Overt racism is only the tip of the problem. Due to centuries-long systemic racial inequities in our country, we now have racist policies so tightly woven into our society’s infrastructure that time and again, we fail to recognize them. If we do not see the racism inherent in the often covert policies that dictate where people of color live, learn, and conduct business, or that reduce the quality of education and medical care available, and that regularly result in a denial of justice, we will never see change.
As we fight for justice, we have to be willing to be uncomfortable as we ask ourselves what we are doing to perpetuate the racism that exists in our legal structure, and we have to re-commit to examining every aspect of our work for racial inequities.
We cannot afford to be silent. We must acknowledge the horror, disgust, and outrage regarding the events surrounding the death of George Floyd and so many other people of color, as only the first step. Increasing our commitment to work harder to combat racial injustice in our client communities, in Connecticut, and in the United States, must be our next step.