King County extends aid to at-risk and homeless veterans
August 8, 2010
NEW — 6 a.m. Aug. 8, 2010
King County leaders took a step last week to help veterans scale barriers to housing and employment, and to sustain self-sufficiency.
County Veterans Citizen Levy Oversight Board members allocated $12,000 to a legal fellowship associated with AmeriCorps, the national service program. The fellowship with the Northwest Justice Project — a nonprofit, publicly funded legal-aid firm — aims to provide free legal assistance to veterans.
The nonprofit organization also received funding pledges from the state Department of Veterans Affairs and the Legal Assistance to Military Personnel Section of the Washington State Bar Association.
The county announced the funding Aug. 3.
“Providing legal services for veterans in need will open doors to housing, employment and self-sufficiency,” County Executive Dow Constantine said in a news release. “These services will complement the work being done by other local organizations and help many area veterans and their families achieve more stable lives.”
The fellow will be a full-time attorney assigned to work with Northwest Justice Project staffers and coordinate with other organizations to provide services to at-risk and homeless veterans. He or she will also assist with housing application denials and evictions, Department of Veterans Affairs and public benefit applications, criminal records and advice regarding other civil legal problems.
“We owe it to our veterans to honor their service and sacrifice by helping connect them with the legal services they need,” County Council Chairman Bob Ferguson said in the release.
Ferguson worked with the Northwest Justice Project and the Veterans Citizen Levy Oversight Board to secure funding for the fellowship.
“This is yet another example of how we are collectively working together to get it right,” state Department of Veterans Affairs Director John Lee said in the release. “Our veterans and their families deserve no less from their country, their state, and their community. I salute King County for all they do for our veterans and their families.”
King County voters adopted a veterans and human services levy in 2005 to raise funding to help local veterans, military personnel, and their families through housing and supportive services.