COLUMBUS, Ohio (March 29, 2021) — The Ohio Access to Justice Foundation’s 2020 annual report Justice Responds highlights its efforts to respond to the civil legal needs of vulnerable Ohioans during the COVID-19 pandemic. The report includes graphics and videos that illustrate the Foundation’s impact during an unprecedented year.
Justice Responds describes how the Foundation’s grantees – including Ohio’s legal aid organizations, Ohio Legal Help and the Ohio Justice Bus – quickly adapted to pandemic restrictions to deliver legal services to improve Ohioans’ health, financial security and housing. This response helped to blunt the pandemic’s social and economic impact and stabilized Ohioans and their communities.
“2020 saw a decrease in Foundation revenue coupled with many Ohioans seeking legal services,” said Angie Lloyd, executive director of the Foundation. “Despite these challenges, the Foundation and our grantees pushed forward and continued to solve legal problems for Ohioans struggling to make ends meet.”
The report details how Ohio Legal Help, a mobile-first hub for legal information, forms, and resources, became a go-to source on everything coronavirus. Launched by the Foundation in 2019, more than 330,000 Ohioans received assistance from Ohio Legal Help in 2020. Ohio Legal Help and Ohio’s legal aid organizations together served more than 58,000 Ohioans with legal issues directly related to the pandemic, such as changes in unemployment benefits and housing issues.
Justice Responds also highlights how Ohio’s legal aid organizations adapted to COVID-19 restrictions while moving forward with innovative partnerships to expand legal aid’s reach and impact. Stories featured in the report include a community economic development project and stories of individual Ohioans helped by legal aid.
“When Ohioans struggle with legal issues that result in homelessness or financial instability, it impacts all of us,” said Lloyd. “Ohio’s legal aids help Ohioans get back on their feet so that they can recover from the pandemic and contribute to their communities.”
View the Foundation’s annual report Justice Responds.
The Ohio Access to Justice Foundation improves fairness and access to justice for all Ohioans. Established in 1994 as the Ohio Legal Assistance Foundation, the Foundation funds Ohio’s legal aids and other access to justice initiatives through the IOLTA/IOTA program, a civil filing fee surcharge, and donations. Through the Foundation’s work, Ohioans have access to legal help, information, and representation, which ensures fairness for all in the justice system.