In November, the Foundation allocated $50,000 for a disaster relief grant for Legal Services of North Florida (LSNF). Eleven of the 16 counties LSNF serves throughout the Panhandle were impacted by Hurricane Michael in October and federally declared disaster areas.
LSNF also applied for a Legal Services Corporation (LSC) disaster relief grant in the amount of $330,725 in order to fund their ongoing relief effort, which includes having staff on hand at 13 disaster recovery centers within the hardest hit counties.
Since landfall, LSNF has opened 385 cases, including 147 landlord/tenant cases, in the affected counties – a 26 percent increase from the same period the previous year. LSNF anticipates serving at least 200 clients in the grant’s first year.
LSNF will use its funding to:
- Educate affected residents on their civil legal rights in a disaster
- Prevent wrongful evictions
- Help residents receive FEMA assistance, which may include temporary housing, home repair/replacement and other needs
- Help residents apply for SBA Disaster Loans Appeal improperly denied
- Disaster Unemployment applications
- Work with residents to replace documents (ID, driver’s license, SS card, EBT, custody, immigration, deed, etc.)
- Answer questions on insurance claims