PRESTONSBURG, Ky. (WYMT) – A non-profit legal organization made up of several Eastern Kentucky based attorneys is getting a big boost thanks to some federal funding.
On Thursday, AppalReD Legal Aid released they were awarded $500,000 by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) to provide free civil legal help to those who are in recovery from drug addiction.
The money will go to the organization’s Project Renew program, which launched in Floyd County back in January 2022. The project will serve more than 1,000 people in recovery and coming out of jail across 20 ARC counties: Bell, Breathitt, Clark, Clay, Estill , Floyd, Garrard, Harlan, Jackson, Knox, Laurel, Lee, Leslie, Letcher, Madison, Owsley, Perry, Powell, Whitley, and Wolfe counties.
“We are thrilled to expand Project Renew to 19 more counties. There are so many ways legal aid can support someone in recovery. We already knew from a pilot project that 80 percent of individuals in recovery have more than one civil legal aid issue they needed help with,” said Robert Johns, Executive Director of AppalReD Legal Aid in a news release. “We address the poverty issues that wear people down, even when they desperately want to succeed. Attorneys can help with clearing a criminal record, domestic violence and custody issues, evictions and housing, and much more. The potential of this group of people is boundless. Civil legal aid unlocks that potential. People can and do recover from addiction, particularly when they are supported by community systems.”
The award is part of a recently announced $12 million package through ARC’s INSPIRE Initiativewhich addresses the region’s substance use crisis with investments that strengthen services in the recovery sector and help people get into the workforce and help people get back into it when they get out of jail.
AppalReD currently has offices