Other ways to support legal aid:
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Contact Campaign Director Sarah Palermo to discuss how you can make an even bigger impact:
Linda, an 80-year-old woman, lives with her brother, who has debilitating physical disabilities. Four years ago, she allowed two acquaintances to move into a room in the basement. They were helpful to have around at first. But then, one relapsed into substance use disorder, and his behavior changed.
He stopped paying rent, ran up her electric bills and created deeply unsanitary conditions that attracted vermin to the house. Linda saw him purchase drugs in her driveway, and noticed drug paraphernalia, including used needles, all around the basement.
When Linda confronted the tenant, he screamed at her, tore her phone from her hand, and slammed a door in her face hard enough to bruise her. He threatened that she couldn’t kick him out because he “knew dangerous people.”
A friend helped her legally evict him and secure a penalty for the damage he caused, including leaving buckets of excrement around the basement, cutting her home’s oil line and pouring gallons of water in her car’s gas tank. When he still refused to leave, Linda also secured a temporary restraining order.
Though he left, he moved just down the road. Linda’s friend felt out of her depth in helping Linda pursue ongoing, permanent protection, and told her to get a lawyer.
“Immediately, it was like 100 pounds lifted off my shoulders,” Linda said. “You can’t understand the stress unless you’ve lived it. I don’t know what I would have done without legal aid.”
New Hampshire Legal Assistance attorney Sofia Hyatt represented Linda at her final hearing in Superior Court, which resulted in Linda being granted a final protective order. Now that Linda’s house is completely her own again, she and her brother were able to celebrate Thanksgiving this year safely and peacefully.
“I would tell anyone if they can put themselves in other people’s shoes, it’s worthwhile to support legal aid,” she said. “It is truly a godsend.”
You already know the value legal aid provides to our community – through helping people like Linda live in safety and dignity, you helped secure more than $3.4 million in direct impacts to clients last year, including child support and alimony payments for survivors of domestic violence, food stamps and utility support, and unemployment and disability benefits for our neighbors living on the cusp of poverty.
Your support today will ensure that NHLA and 603 Legal Aid are there tomorrow for the hearings and negotiations, the emergencies and the life-changing moments.
Every gift counts, and every gift will provide critical support to protect our most vulnerable neighbors when their basic rights to food, shelter and safety are on the line.