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CLSMF Receives Grant to Launch Florida Legal Services Open Referral Initiative

The Legal Services Corporation announced yesterday that Community Legal Services of Mid-Florida will receive $139,200 through the Technology Initiative Grants program to launch Florida Legal Services Open Referral Initiative, a project seeking to improve community services referrals. The Technology Initiative Grants program supports legal aid organizations to develop and replicate technologies that improve efficiency and provide greater access to high-quality legal assistance. 

With the support of the technology grant, Florida Legal Services Open Referral Initiative will enable all of the state’s legal services providers to share real-time information about their services in an open and easily accessible format. The project will make it easier to locate information about available community resources and help low-income Floridians receive the legal assistance they need.

CLSMF is collaborating with three additional legal aid organizations in Florida, the Florida Bar Foundation and Open Referral on this project. CLSMF is the lead and worked with FBF and Open Referral to write the grant and spearhead this initiative.

CLSMF is honored that we were chosen to take part in this initiative.  The link to LSC’s announcement regarding this grant award is below.

http://www.lsc.gov/media-center/press-releases/2016/2016-technology-initiative-grants-awarded-27-lsc-grantees

Highlights from LSC’s announcement:

Members of the Florida congressional delegation applauded the award:

Rep. Alan Grayson (FL-9): “Community Legal Services of Mid-Florida helps ensure that Central Florida’s veterans receive their rightful benefits, its elderly residents avoid unlawful evictions, and countless women and children receive protection from further violence at home. Within Metro Orlando’s low-income economy, too many residents still desperately need access to legal assistance for life’s everyday challenges, and hopefully this grant will help provide more of those vital services.”

Rep. Richard Nugent (FL-11): “It’s a well-known fact how challenging it can be sometimes for lower income families, seniors, and veterans to navigate the legal system. The truth is, many people just cannot afford proper representation. That’s why the Community Legal Services of Mid-Florida is such an invaluable service throughout Hernando, Citrus, Marion, Lake and Sumter Counties. Their recent grant from the Legal Services Corporation, to be used specifically to enhance technological capabilities, will allow for the continuation of quality free legal aid to those who need it most.”