COUNTY-WIDE CIVIL LEGAL AID PUBLIC AWARENESS CAMPAIGN LAUNCHES IN FOUR LANGUAGES
Issues like domestic violence, sexual assault, eviction and unemployment
on the rise due to COVID-19 pandemic
Federally funded project provides outreach materials, PSAs and website
to help people facing a crisis find civil legal resources in King County
Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021—Bellevue, Wash.—A new public awareness campaign to promote access to free civil legal aid services in response to the COVID-19 pandemic launched this week in King County. The campaign includes free resources in four languages for residents of King County including video PSAs, print materials and a website, covidlegalaid.org. Coordinated by Eastside Legal Assistance Program (ELAP), the campaign directs people in need of legal help to 28 nonprofit organizations in the county that provide free civil legal services.
“When a disaster like a pandemic hits, it hurts those who already need our help the most,” said Gerald Kroon, executive director for ELAP. “Many people who have experienced trauma or a crisis have legal options that could improve their situation, but people often don’t know where to turn or can’t afford a lawyer. That’s why this campaign is timely, focused and critically needed during this pandemic.”
The campaign, which received federal funding from the CARES Act that was administered by King County, targets people most in need of civil legal aid—those who have recently experienced domestic violence or sexual assault, and people facing eviction, unemployment discrimination and other crises that may have a legal solution.
Civil Legal Aid: Free Legal Help in King County is a multi-media outreach campaign with materials translated into Spanish, Vietnamese and Mandarin and includes:
• Videos that explain the benefits of civil legal aid programs and direct people to help, as well as inform funding partners
• Print and digital booklet and pamphlet in four languages with resources, educational information and a directory of King County nonprofits that provide free civil legal aid services
• Public service media announcements in four languages
• A new website with directories and translated materials at covidlegalaid.org
DEFINING CIVIL LEGAL AID:
Sometimes difficult things happen in life, like losing a job, facing eviction from a home or experiencing a trauma like domestic violence or sexual assault. Many people having these experiences could benefit from legal help, but they don’t know where to turn or can’t afford a lawyer. Civil legal aid is a combination of free services and resources that nonprofit organizations provide to people who can’t afford legal help otherwise. A lawyer can help people navigate the confusing legal system to see if there is a legal solution that can help them improve their situation. Civil legal aid is not the same as criminal representation. This campaign is not intended to be a resource for people who are being accused of a crime.
ABOUT THE CIVIL LEGAL AID CAMPAIGN:
The Civil Legal Aid campaign was produced by ELAP in coordination with organizations providing civil legal aid services in King County. Executive directors and attorneys from 11 nonprofits in King County participated in video interviews for the project. Funding for this project was administered by the King County Department of Community and Human Services. The project was supported by a grant awarded by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Points of view in the campaign are those of ELAP and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of the Treasury. For additional information, visit covidlegalaid.org.
ELAP (Eastside Legal Assistance Program) is a nonprofit dedicated to working with people facing domestic violence, housing, financial, healthcare, immigration and other issues that need a legal solution. We also educate communities about their legal rights. We work for free to solve legal issues and provide resources for our community members because not everyone can afford a lawyer. Learn more about other ELAP programs and services at elap.org.