It’s an alarming, sad statistic:
Each year Americans spent more on Halloween costumes — for their pets — than the federal government spends on civil legal aid.
The programs funded by the Legal Services Corporation – including NH’s own Legal Advice and Referral Center – help 1.7 million Americans a year, including victims of domestic violence, children in family court, military families, people facing homelessness, the elderly, and more.
The 2017 LSC Annual Report shows:
- 71% of low-income households experienced at least one civil legal problem in the last year, including problems with health care, housing conditions, disability access, veterans’ benefits, and domestic violence.
- BUT 86% of reported civil legal problems of low-income Americans received inadequate or no legal help in the last year, largely because of limited program resources.
Your gift to legal aid is money well spent, too — a study showed that every dollar spent on civil legal services in New Hampshire yields a $20 impact on the state’s economy, by helping seniors and people with disabilities access benefits to pay their bills, and by averting the costly harms of domestic violence and homelessness.
Who are the 60 million Americans who are eligible for legal aid? They are seniors, people with disabilities, veterans and roughly 10 million people living in rural communities, where there is a shortage of private attorneys who can take cases pro bono, and thus a sharp need for legal aid.
So this year, for Halloween, when you pick up Daisy’s WonderDog costume, remember you can turn yourself into a real, live super-hero for New Hampshire families who need access to justice!