By RACHEL C. DOVE
LOGAN - Mingo County Public Defender Teresa McCune, who also serves as a board member for Legal Aid of WV has been on a mission of late, attempting to secure financial assistance for the Logan/Mingo office that has served approximately 5,000 residents over the last four years.
Thanks to the securement of $1 million in funding provided by WV Attorney General Darrell McGraw, McCune feels safe in saying the local office will remain open to serve those who are in need.
The funding announcement was made during a press conference on Tuesday that was held at the Chief Logan Conference Center, during a free Consumer University seminar presented by the Attorney General’s office in conjunction with AARP, along with a day-long “Save our Homes” workshop.
The $1 million in financial assistance was made possible by a class-action settlement in which the State of WV participated in a lawsuit against nationally accredited banks and financial organizations that were found guilty of illegal home foreclosures and unfair housing practices.
In exchange for the funding from the Attorney General’s office, Legal Aid has agreed to provide mortgage and litigation help for homeowners who experienced the foreclosures throughout WV who meet the income guidelines and other requirements set by the state.
“Over the past four years, Legal Aid in Logan and Mingo has provided assistance to well over 5,000 people,” stated McGraw. “We’re glad that we could support these essential services for an office that has served the area for over three decades.”
“In these times of budget cuts and economic hardship, we are happy to be able to help Legal Aid of WV maintain its vital legal services without the use of taxpayer dollars,” McGraw said. “Legal Aid lost $1.2 million in federal and other grants this year, and that figure will go up next year.”
“Without other funding like this check we are presenting today, these cuts would severely curtail their ability to offer free, life changing legal help to those citizens who need it the most.”
McCune had recently received financial assistance for the local office from the Mingo County Commission, and said she wanted to voice her appreciation of their concern and support.
“The commission was very concerned when they were told the office was in a financial crunch,” stated McCune. “We were grateful they agreed to provide funding assistance.”
“Legal Aid is a very important service to the community and I’m relieved that we have secured this $1 million in assistance that will allow the local office to be operational for the next three years without worries about how that will be possible,” remarked the attorney.
“All 11 Legal Aid of WV offices across the state will receive funding out of the $1 million, but the bulk of it has been earmarked for the Logan-Mingo office.”
For more information on the services provided by Legal Aid of WV, you may call the Logan office at 304-752-4178 or visit their location at 201 Stratton Street.