Stories from the Frontlines

Every day, legal aid organizations help Texans with nowhere else to go. Veterans, children, the elderly, victims of abuse, families coping with medical problems: When these Texans face a legal problem they can’t afford, many of them are rescued by legal aid groups and volunteer attorneys.

It’s these stories that make us understand what’s at stake, and why so many more Texans need our help. On this page, you’ll find examples of Texans whose lives were changed – and sometimes saved – by the work of the legal aid groups and attorneys supported by donations from people like you.

Maria showed up at the legal aid office before they opened one morning, covered in blood and dirt, frantic, and crying hysterically. Her husband had stabbed her in the arm multiple times with a screwdriver then chased her down a major street.  She escaped with her daughter, hiding behind a dumpster for an hour before coming to the office for assistance.  She got immediate medical attention and the attorney filed a protective order.  Maria’s divorce is nearly final and she and her daughter are healing. Maria’s confidence is also getting stronger, so much that she was recently promoted to a management position at her job.

Rose was an elderly victim of identity theft, which affected her ability to collect her social security retirement and supplemental benefits.  And the IRS was trying to collect past due taxes accrued by the thief, not Rose.  Her legal aid attorney fought the good fight, restoring Rose’s benefits and removing the IRS from her life once and for all.  Today Rose has an unblemished record and even some additional income.

Steve is a decorated, retired Army sergeant.  His combat injuries, sustained while serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom II, included Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, traumatic brain injuries, and problems with mobility and balance.  Getting a service dog was critically important in his re-entry into the community, but housing was denied because of the breed of his dog, Atlas. Legal heroes from Disability Rights Texas and Winston & Strawn, LLP filed a lawsuit against the company that denied this American hero a place to live. In the end, the company agreed to pay damages, and completely retooled their policies and procedures regarding disabled individuals, with a special emphasis on dealing with veterans and service animals.