Crisis Center receives legal support services grant

The Crisis Center of West Texas was awarded funding through a Texas Bar Foundation grant to further assist clients with legal expenses.
The nonprofit organization added an attorney to its legal advocacy services in January 2018 in order to serve victims of domestic and sexual violence, and the $5,000 TBF grant will fund legal expenses related to civil issues including divorce, child custody and orders of protection.
Crisis Center of West Texas Executive Director Lorie Dunnam said courtroom translators are the biggest piece that the grant will assist with.
Dunnam said that survivors of domestic and sexual violence have complex legal issues and official translation services by court interpreters are crucial for non-English speaking clients navigating the judicial system.
“One of the primary costs that we have that is not funded from another source is translation services, payment for certified or notarized copies and filing fees,” she said, and “while we are funded for an attorney, the staff costs, we’re not funded for any of the costs that go along with that.”
The Crisis Center has absorbed those legal expenses up until this point but Dunnam said the added funding will provide some financial relief for the nonprofit.
The Texas Bar Foundation has helped organizations for about five decades educate the public about their rights and responsibilities under the law, provide legal services to the poor and assist those who turn for the legal system for protection, their website states.
Since its inception in 1965, The Texas Bar Foundation has awarded more than $20 million in grants to law-related programs.