With record numbers of veterans returning from war and many of them facing unemployment and rising poverty rates in North Carolina, Charlotte nonprofit Legal Services of Southern Piedmont (LSSP) works in the community to serve lower-income veterans struggling with issues like homelessness, health issues and financial instability. LSSP’s Veterans Legal Services Project now, with United Way support, is able to offer civil legal assistance to lower-income veterans in Cabarrus and Union Counties in addition to its existing Mecklenburg County services for issues such as Veterans Affairs disability appeals and discharge upgrades as well as other civil legal needs, including employment, tax and consumer issues.
“Those who serve make great sacrifices for our country,” Robert Davis, Veterans Legal Services Project attorney, said. “They are asked to leave their families and put their lives at risk. At Legal Services of Southern Piedmont, we respect the sacrifices veterans have made and the measure of restoration our services can provide.”
Davis heads up the project with the understanding that the stresses veterans and their families encounter often make them susceptible to adversity after they leave the military. Many of the veterans the project serves face difficulties like losing their homes, health or income in addition to being denied or delayed from receiving vital benefits. The project’s staff is dedicated to serving those who cannot afford a lawyer and helping them secure the assistance they cannot afford to be without.
Since LSSP’s Veterans Legal Services Project began in 2012 in Mecklenburg County, it has served more than 700 veterans in a variety of civil legal matters. The nonprofit’s legal support seeks to stabilize veterans by providing them with the education, advice and representation needed to maintain health, home and income. For little to no cost to the veteran, the project advocates for veterans in partnership with existing nonprofits in Mecklenburg, Cabarrus and Union Counties and local Veterans Services Offices.
“We are excited about expanding our program to Cabarrus and Union Counties,” Davis said. “We believe these services fill a big need for veterans.”
Veterans or immediate family members of veterans in need of civil legal assistance can call LSSP’s Veterans Legal Services Project’s direct hotline at 704-808-4144 for more information.