Colorado Legal Services opens over 1,000 cases to help low-income Coloradans in August
Housing remains the top category of concern for Coloradans seeking assistance
Sept. 21, 2023 (DENVER) – Colorado Legal Services opened 1,158 cases to provide legal help to low-income Coloradans in August, the highest number of cases opened in a month since March of 2020, according to its monthly report released today. Colorado Legal Services is Colorado’s statewide legal aid nonprofit.
The top concerns from Coloradans in August were housing (538), family and safety (277), and consumer (140) matters. Housing matters could include defending against evictions, negotiating rent agreements with landlords to help people stay in their homes, helping tenants learn their rights regarding security deposits and conditions impacting the habitability of their homes, and directing clients to rental assistance and community resources. Family and safety matters include representation of domestic violence survivors in divorce, custody, and protection order matters.
“We know that tenants are much less likely to be represented in court than landlords and therefore are less likely to succeed,” said Matt Baca, executive director of Colorado Legal Services. “Representation can be the difference between a family being thrown onto the streets and remaining in their homes. As people sought legal assistance at a pre-pandemic level in August, we are reminded of the challenges many Coloradans face when trying to remain in their homes.”
Housing instability is a challenge for many low-income Coloradans. According to the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, among extremely low-income households, 74% are spending more than half of their income on housing. Teaching renters about their rights, defending them in court, and negotiating agreements with landlords to help them remain in their housing are just some of the ways Colorado Legal Services housing attorneys are helping Coloradans avoid homelessness.
In Pueblo, for instance, Colorado Legal Services’ Pueblo County Eviction Diversion Program helps connect people with available rental assistance and other services. Attorneys in other offices conduct community outreach to teach people about their rights, in addition to offering direct representation and legal advice.
Colorado Legal Services is Colorado’s statewide nonprofit legal aid program providing civil legal assistance—which does not include criminal or traffic matters—to low-income individuals and older Coloradans throughout the state. Its 13 offices provide free legal assistance in a broad variety of legal areas, including eviction defense, consumer protection, services to survivors of serious crime and human trafficking, representation for domestic violence survivors, and many others.
Almost 1.4 million Coloradans qualify financially for CLS’s services. CLS’s current staff of 85 attorneys and 48 paralegals is supplemented by a robust private attorney involvement program. Learn more at www.coloradolegalservices.org.
Communications Director | Colorado Legal Services
Colorado Legal Services is supported by the Legal Services Corporation.