This year, the Texas Access to Justice Foundation is awarding the largest amount it has ever given to help low-income Texas veterans with their legal needs, says TAJF board member Andy Kerr, chairman of its Veterans Committee.
The TAJF on Aug. 8 announced it awarded 11 grants, totaling $446,713, to Baylor University School of Law, the Houston Bar Foundation, the Texas Legal Services Center, and eight other nonprofits based in Houston, Beaumont, San Antonio, Fort Worth, Austin and South Texas.
Kerr says the funding is important because “there is a real need for legal services” among low-income veterans, who need help dealing with the denial of benefits, family law matters and drafting wills, among other things.
“They’re typically unable to afford legal services, so if we can provide a mechanism, and fund programs by which they can receive legal services, that’s something both the Bar and the Access to Justice Foundation want to do. It’s our mission, really,” says Kerr.
The grant amounts range from $22,000 to $90,713, according to an email from Erika Gonzalez, a TAJF spokeswoman who works with Elizabeth Christian & Associates Public Relations.
Kerr says the TAJF raised the majority of the funds — $413,000 — at its May 1 Champions of Justice Gala Benefiting Veterans. In late July the TAJF board evaluated the nonprofit groups’ applications and awarded the funds to the best programs that “will be properly administered so the funds will reach their target: the low-income veterans population,” says Kerr.
-- Angela Morris