Justice Stories

Ben's Story

Baby Ben Ben* was seven months old when he was diagnosed with several medical conditions that could have resulted in permanent facial deformity and life-long medical problems. Ben's application for a prescribed baby helmet was declared a "non-covered service" by a state agency and was denied.

The medical center where Ben was a patient referred Ben's family to legal aid. Legal aid interceded on Ben's behalf, and through advocacy and without a lawsuit, convinced the agency to approve the prescribed helmet.

As a result of the Medical Legal Partnership, Ben's treatment was successful and he is now a healthy, thriving little boy.

*Name has been changed to protect client privacy.

Price Hill's Story

Price Hill Will is a nonprofit whose mission is to create systemic change through economic development and physical revitalization. The Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati is partnering with Price Hill Will to achieve the shared goal of reversing the Price Hill neighborhood's decline and helping working families become Price Hill homeowners.

Before this partnership, these foreclosed homes had deteriorated to the point where they were uninhabitable neighborhood eyesores. Now, through the joint efforts of legal aid and Price Hill Will, foreclosed properties have become, safe, attractive and affordable.

Each house represents a new beginning for a low or moderate income family.

As Price Hill Will's legal counsel, the Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati researches property ownerships, works with the City to step up housing code enforcement, files public nuisance lawsuits, negotiates for key properties with banks holding neglected properties, and secures tax abatements for new homeowners.

The Smiths' Story

The Smiths Thomas Smith, a 71 year-old retired veteran, and his disabled wife Aline have lived in their house for 34 years. Early in 2011, their bank claimed that they were behind on their mortgage payments. The Smiths sent copies of their payment receipts and communicated frequently with the bank to attempt to resolve the error, but nothing was resolved.

The bank moved forward with foreclosure proceedings and the sheriff appeared at the Smiths' door to notify them that the house would be put up for sale. Scared of losing their home, the Smiths contacted the Southeastern Ohio Legal Services office in Portsmouth for help. Their legal aid attorney appeared with the Smiths in court and helped them organize and produce evidence of mortgage, insurance, and tax payments. The matter was finally resolved and the foreclosure action was dismissed by the bank at its own cost. Thomas and Aline continue to reside happily in their family home.

Steve's Story

Steve*, a 54- year-old veteran, lost his job. A short time later, he was disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits because he was taking a part-time retraining class. He had no other income, and started to fall behind on his mortgage payments. Concerned about losing his home, Steve sought assistance from his local legal aid. Legal aid demonstrated that Steve was actively engaged in a search for employment and that his training class would not prevent him from accepting a job. As a result of legal aid's work, Steve's unemployment compensation was reinstated and he received a back award that enabled him to catch up on his house payments and avoid foreclosure.

*Name changed to protect client privacy.