LOS ANGELES, Calif. — The Los Angeles-based Veterans Justice Center, the county’s oldest legal services program for veterans, has received a grant of $250,000, it was announced today.
The donation from the Sidley Austin Foundation will fund a three-year fellowship with the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles to support the justice center, the Sidley Austin law firm said.
In addition to helping the legal aid foundation provide representation for homeless and low-income veterans and their families, the donation will help create long-term legal assistance programs, the firm said.
“With more than 300,000 military veterans in Los Angeles County, it is necessary for LAFLA to have strong community partners to ensure our veterans and their families receive critical legal services,” said Silvia Argueta, executive director of LAFLA. “Sidley has been a longtime, committed LAFLA partner and we are excited to come together to create the Sidley Fellowship to help VJC continue serving the brave men and women who served our country.”
The VJC, formerly known as the Bill Smith Homeless Veterans Project, provides advocacy and representation for low-income and homeless veterans and their families. It is also involved in community education and trains pro bono lawyers, law and social work students, mental health and medical professionals and community members on veterans benefit advocacy.