Making sure low-income families have access to free or affordable legal services, more than $4 million is allocated to civil legal services in the state’s budget for the year. Of that funding, 85% is going to service agencies in upstate New York, meaning Albany, Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse.
The funding will help these agencies that provide legal services or public safety programs to low-income families, or provide basic necessities like housing, employment and educational services.
"The system does not meet its objective if one party is not represented. It’s very hard for low income people to navigate the justice system without legal representation. They just cannot work or they cannot secure their basic needs and so this funding will go a very long way in helping us to help them," said Keisha Williams, Western New York Law Center's executive director.
In total, upstate New York cities will be getting around $3.5 million.