Giving Challenge Issued: Gifts to Pisgah Legal Services Matched Through Dec. 31
To help meet the needs here in our mountain region, generous donors have created the “Campaign for Justice in WNC” Giving Challenge. All gifts made to Pisgah Legal Services by December 31st will be matched, dollar-for-dollar, up to $150,000.
If you need help, call Pisgah Legal Services at 828-253-0406 or toll free at 800-489-6144 or visit www.pisgahlegal.org.
Across the country, schoolchildren place their hands over their hearts and recite “with liberty and justice for all,” an ideal in the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance professing that justice should be accessible to everyone. In criminal cases, legal assistance is a right. Unfortunately, there is no such right to counsel in civil legal matters, and most low-income Americans are forced to go it alone.
A recent study by The Pew Charitable Trusts shows that about 1 in 3 households in the U.S. faced housing, family or debt issues in 2018, suggesting that Americans could benefit from more assistance with civil legal issues. Those numbers increase dramatically for low-income people. A 2017 study shows that 86 percent of civil legal problems reported by low-income Americans received inadequate or no legal help.
Pisgah Legal Services Stands for Justice for People in Western North Carolina (WNC)
For more than 40 years, nonprofit Pisgah Legal Services (PLS) has provided free civil legal aid to help low-income people seek justice and meet their basic needs.
“Folks who live in low-income households regularly experience problems that can be addressed with a civil legal aid attorney by their side: stopping domestic violence, accessing veterans’ benefits, escaping poor housing conditions, and securing health care for example,” says Pisgah Legal Executive Director Jim Barrett.
He continues, “Lawyers are powerful allies who can tackle the issues that keep people locked into poverty, trapped in abusive situations and living in substandard conditions, but we need support from the community to do so. We hope folks will make a gift to help their neighbors in need by the end of the year, because at Pisgah Legal we believe that justice is for everyone, not just those who can afford it.”
Last year PLS served more than 16,800 people across the mountain region. The nonprofit’s main service area includes eight WNC counties, with offices in Asheville, Brevard, Hendersonville, Marshall, Rutherfordton and Spruce Pine. PLS has 27 attorneys on staff and relies heavily on the pro bono legal services of more than 300 volunteer attorneys.