LAET Grant Returns $1.6 Million to Local Economy

CHATTANOOGA – A one year grant that was expected to provide $250,000 in local benefit has instead resulted in more than six times that amount in half the time!  Last fall, the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga awarded Legal Aid of East Tennessee (LAET) $20,000 to help low-income women and their children escape abusive situations, rebuild their lives, and achieve financial stability and security.

The “Women in Crisis” program expected to serve 50 women and their families over a twelve month period by identifying $250,000 in public benefits for victims of emotional abuse, domestic violence, or human trafficking.  In the first six months of the grant period, LAET staff served 28 victims and their families, and identified $1,646,004.60 in public benefits for which they qualified but were not receiving.  Roughly half of the grant ($10,000) was spent during this period.

“This is a tremendous win not only for our clients and their families, but also for Chattanooga’s economy,” said Attorney Russell Fowler, LAET’s Associate Director.  “As these women can now provide food, clothing, housing, and other necessities for their families, grocery and clothing stores, landlords, gas stations, and other businesses will reap the benefits of that spending.  How many investments in ANYTHING are returning 1600 percent these days?”

LAET is hoping to continue this level of positive outcomes during the last six months of the grant.  For more information on the “Women in Crisis” program, contact LAET’s Chattanooga office at (423) 756-4013.

Legal Aid of East Tennessee’s mission is to ensure justice for elderly, abused, and low-income people by providing a broad scope of civil legal assistance and advocacy.  LAET serves eligible persons in 26 counties through offices in Chattanooga, Knoxville, Johnson City, Maryville, and Morristown.


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