Veterans are among the demographics that Legal Services of the Hudson Valley provides services to -- and the organization will now have a greater ability to do so to veterans in Putnam and Dutchess, thanks to a recent $75,000 grant.
Sen. Sue Serino helped secure the grant, to help support LSHV's Veterans and Military Families Advocacy Unit, providing general civil legal services to veterans in Dutchess and Putnam counties.
"Our veterans have made tremendous sacrifices on behalf of our community and our nation and we have a duty to ensure that they have the resources they need here at home to live their lives to the fullest," Serino said. "I am in awe of all the tremendous work Legal Services of the Hudson Valley is able to accomplish and I am proud to have the opportunity to help them help our area veterans.
According to recent data, approximately 5-6 percent of veterans in the area live below the federal poverty line, which is $11,880 for a single-person household in 2016. LSHV serves clients below 200 percent of the poverty line -- $23,760 for an individual or $48,600 for a family of four. That means that there are many veterans in these counties who would qualify for LSHV's services.
In 2015, LSHV handled 259 Veterans' Unit cases and served 699 veteran clients overall: 113 residents of Dutchess and nine residents of Putnam.
"We can't thank Sen. Sue Serino enough for their support of Legal Services of the Hudson Valley," said LSHV CEO Barbara Finkelstein. "The funding they have secured will allow the agency to serve so many more of our neighbors who are fighting for the basic necessities of life. Targeting this funding to veterans and survivors of domestic violence, among other populations, means that we’ll be able to assist people who face a unique set of barriers within the justice system and aren’t getting help anywhere else."