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ABLE to help children victimized by opioid crisis thanks to nearly $500,000 DOJ grant

Advocates for Basic Legal Equality’s Medical-Legal Partnership will help children impacted by the opioid crisis after the Department of Justice awarded ABLE a $448,222 “Enhancing Community Responses to the Opioid Crisis: Serving Our Youngest Crime Victims” grant.

The Office for Victims of Crime awarded funding to 19 programs throughout the United States to address an urgent gap in services related to the opioid epidemic. The funding will assist low-income children and youth, and ABLE’s MLPC will represent and provide civil legal services to children under 18 who are victims of crime as a result of the opioid crisis.

MLPC Senior Attorney Holly Hillyer submitted the three-year grant and will manage it, while ABLE Attorney Joe Warden will assist clients in Montgomery, Greene, and Preble counties.

In 2017, Montgomery County had one of the highest rates of unintentional overdose and the second-highest rate of opioid overdose in the country. The crisis continues to affect Montgomery County families and strain resources for effected children and their caregivers despite Montgomery County seeing a decrease in deaths in 2018.

ABLE will work on assisting clients in the following areas:

  • Family stabilization and safety –help to obtain civil protection orders, grandparent powers of attorney, caretaker authorization affidavits, and custody
  • Economic security – help to receive public benefits, including childcare, food assistance, and Social Security disability benefits
  • Education –  help to get appropriate accommodations and special education services for children with mental health conditions and other disabilities related to their experiences of trauma as a result of the opioid crisis

While most of the legal assistance will fall within the categories above, we also anticipate providing legal services related to securing health care, safe and healthy housing, and immigration benefits for victims of crime.

About the author

Advocates for Basic Legal Equality

Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc. (ABLE) is a non-profit regional law firm that provides high quality legal assistance in civil matters to help eligible low-income individuals and groups in western Ohio achieve self reliance, and equal justice and economic opportunity.