Everyday in New Mexico, a child, a victim of domestic violence, an elderly person or a disabled person needs legal help.
The legal help they need affects the most basic aspects of their lives, such as personal safety, earned income, safe shelter and access to medical care.
When a New Mexican living in poverty has nowhere else to turn, Equal Access to Justice and your donations make legal help possible. Equal Access to Justice programs help low-income families and individuals with serious legal problems who have no place else to turn.
A young mother rescued from an abusive relationship.
“Marta” was living at a shelter for battered women. She had an abusive husband and two very young children. Legal aid obtained a restraining order and child support, and referred her to a pro bono lawyer, who helped her get a divorce and primary custody of her children. Within two years, she was working as a case manager for victims of domestic violence and buying her own home.
A frail elderly woman saved from an eviction.
Mrs. P came to Legal Aid because she was in danger of being evicted from her apartment. In investigating the case, the legal aid advocate discovered that there had been a mistake made regarding Mrs. P's application for state disability; although her application had been approved, the state had failed to process her benefits for nearly two years. Her advocate negotiated retroactive benefits, and with her award of over $5,700 she was able to pay her rent and gain some stability in her life.
More poor working parents received child care assistance.
As working parents strive for self-sufficiency, they must get past a benefits "gap". In the gap, their income is too high to qualify for child care subsidy, but too low for them to afford the full cost of child care. In the 2003 legislature, The Center on Law and Poverty worked successfully to obtain an increase in the income level to qualify for child care subsidies, so that more poor parents can work their way to self-sufficiency.