Giving Tuesday: Support TALS to Tip the Scales of Justice
Your generous gifts support 1-844-HELP4TN, the statewide FREE legal helpline.
What is HELP4TN?
1-844-HELP4TN is a free legal helpline for Tennesseans.
Our helpline was created by a coalition of Tennessee legal groups and Memphis-based International Paper. Together, they have joined forces to fund and operate a toll-free phone line offering legal information and referrals to low-income Tennesseans. We help people get to the right resource, whether that is a self-help form, a video or booklet to learn about their rights, or learning how to hire a lawyer in their community. Our attorneys have helped over 20,000 Tennesseans since 2013!
TALS' helpline attorneys helped a child get enrolled in school. TALS’ helpline attorney coached a frustrated parent who was struggling to successfully enroll their child in school due to a question about custody. The helpline attorney explained what documents the parent needed provide to the school and how to obtain them. The parent reported back that their child was in school thanks to the information from our helpline.
Our attorneys helped a client whose apartment was infested with spiders and termites. A helpline caller explained that her apartment was infested with spiders and termites. They were literally coming out of the walls. Her landlord refused to remedy the situation and would not let her out of her lease. Our client felt trapped and hopeless because she couldn’t afford to find a different place to live unless the landlord let her out of her lease early and returned her security deposit . The helpline attorney talked to her about her rights and helped her write a letter to her landlord demanding to be released from the lease with return of her security deposit. The caller contacted us to report that her letter was successful and she was overjoyed to have ended the lease, gotten her security deposit back and moved into a clean and safe apartment.
TALS’ helpline protects seniors who are victims of scams. A senior called asking for help, saying she had paid virtually all the money she had to someone believing that it was to pay for her adult son’s outstanding debts, but the total debt amount never decreased. TALS’ helpline attorney quickly determined that this was a tragic financial scam and recognized that the caller needed representation as soon as possible. The helpline attorney connected the caller with her local legal aid program. Because of HELP4TN, the woman learned she had been scammed, learned how to protect herself moving forward, and was connected to counsel to assist her in pursuing civil remedies
1- 844-HELP4TN is the right call for those who don’t know where to turn. A woman called TALS’ helpline because she didn’t know where to turn. She had serious medical problems and required a service dog to navigate daily tasks. Her landlord refused to recognize her right to have a service dog and threatened to evict her for having a dog on the property. The TALS’ helpline attorney explained the caller’s legal rights and connected her to a partner agency that advocates for disabled individuals. Not only did the facility learn about their tenant’s legal rights, they changed their policy to make it clear that accommodations would be made for service dogs at all their properties.
The Need in Tennessee
Every year more than 600,000 low-income Tennesseans have at least one civil legal need and thousands of these individuals contact a legal aid office for help. TALS supports civil legal service providers through training, programmatic, and policy initiatives, thereby ensuring that every Tennessean has timely access to civil legal services. Please consider making a donation to TALS. With your help we can make, maintain and expand our efforts to improve conditions adversely affecting low-income Tennesseans with civil legal needs.
62% of low income households in Tennessee experienced two or more civil legal problems relating to fundamental human needs in the past year.
- Abuse by a loved one or caretaker
- Unsafe housing conditions
- Family law problems
- Financial scams
- Help getting access to food, shelter or medical care needed to sustain a family
If left unresolved, these problems can drive people further into poverty. Research shows that an alarming 6 of 10 low income households choose not to take any type of action to rectify legal problems - mostly because of a sense of hopelessness. Your support helps us let people know that legal assistance is available and that receiving help has the potentional to make a positive difference.
Learn more about how our helpline attorneys make a difference in Tennessee by viewing our video!