Legal Aid’s Response to COVID19: Full Services Available + A New Resource
The COVID-19 pandemic has not only threatened the health of our community, but it has also magnified the needs of Northeast Ohio's most vulnerable residents. As a growing number of people struggled to secure basic needs such as shelter, income, and safety, The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland mobilized its resources to continue fully serving Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Lake, Lorain, and Geauga counties. Since March 14th, Legal Aid attorneys have been working with clients remotely through emails, texts, phone calls, and video calls.
When Governor Mark DeWine closed all nonessential businesses in response to COVID19, many low-income workers faced layoffs, furloughs, or reduced hours. Legal Aid developed new supports for those affected.
On April 9th, Legal Aid launched the Worker Information Line, which provides clear, direct answers to questions about work or unemployment benefits. Those with questions can call at any time and leave a message clearly stating their name, phone number, and a brief description of their question. A Legal Aid staff member will return the call between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Calls are returned within 1-2 business days. Cuyahoga County residents should call 216-861-5899; Ashtabula, Lake, Geauga, and Lorain County residents should call 440-210-4532.
Legal Aid’s long-standing Tenant Information Line remains available to answer housing questions for renters who have questions about their responsibilities during this time. Cuyahoga County tenants can call 216-861-5955; Ashtabula, Lake, Geauga, and Lorain tenants can call 440-210-4533. As with the Worker Information Line, tenants should clearly provide their name, phone number, and description of their question, and can expect an answer within 1-2 business days.
Despite the closure of in-person applications for service, Legal Aid remains open to new clients through 24/7 online in-take, available at lasclev.org/contact/. The online application takes 10-20 minutes to complete. After submission, applicants receive a phone call from Legal Aid within 2 business days.
Legal Aid’s phone lines have also remained open. Those interested can call (toll-free) 888-817-3777 from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, the lines are available from 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. For those unable to communicate fluently in English, lasclev.org/contact/ has information about calling Legal Aid in a number of languages, including Spanish, Arabic, and Mandarin.
Development and Communications Assistant at The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland.