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Need is up, but funding plummets for legal aid

Wednesday, December 09, 2009



Downloads of self-help legal forms have doubled in Maryland and Virginia in the past year and substantially increased in the District, according to the federal Legal Services Corp., which offers the forms as part of its congressionally established work. Federal funding to the organization increased by $10 million to $400 million for the fiscal year that will end in July, but that increase "is not enough to cover the gap" at local levels, said Karen Sarjeant, the vice president for programs. As a result, she said, manageable problems -- such as an eviction -- spiral "into something much worse that takes more to remedy."


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