September 9, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington, DC - The Legal Services Corporation and the American Red Cross will work more closely together during disaster relief operations to strengthen assistance provided to disaster victims, officials announced today.
LSC and the Red Cross entered into a memorandum of understanding that provides a framework for partnership and cooperation between the two organizations in rendering assistance to disaster victims and other services.
The memorandum of understanding was signed by Helaine M. Barnett, president of LSC, and Kevin M. Brown, the chief operating officer of the national American Red Cross.
"This agreement will enhance efforts by programs funded by LSC to provide legal assistance to people affected by natural disasters and who may have lost their homes and all their possessions," Helaine Barnett said. "LSC thanks the Red Cross for helping establish this new collaborative approach, which will speed our outreach and services during disasters."
"The Red Cross looks forward to partnering with LSC programs so that collectively we may better serve all communities during disasters," Kevin Brown said. "This new framework will help enhance disaster response activities by both organizations."
During times of disaster, LSC-funded programs can provide legal guidance on matters ranging from temporary housing, rent-gouging, insurance, consumer fraud, and increased family law issues from disaster-related distress.
Together, attorneys and client advocates employed by LSC-funded programs will set up alongside the Red Cross at their disaster service delivery locations to provide legal counseling, according to the memorandum of understanding. Both organizations will encourage their programs and chapters to join in pre-disaster planning and response activities at the local level.
LSC, created by Congress in 1974, provides grants to 137 programs with more than 920 offices across the country. LSC's mission is to promote equal access to justice in our nation and to provide high-quality civil legal assistance to low-income persons.
The Red Cross has more than 700 chapters across the nation that help provide relief to victims of disasters and help people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. It is led by volunteers and guided by a congressional charter and the fundamental principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.