Bay Area Legal Services Earns Multi-Year Community Investment Funding From United Way Suncoast
Bay Area Legal Services’ role as a United Way Suncoast strategic community partner moves into a new era this month with the launch of a multi-year funding commitment from the venerable nonprofit leader.
United Way Suncoast kicked off its new fiscal year on July 1 by initiating the distribution of a three-year grant for $200,000 to Bay Area Legal Services. We will use the funds to support our Florida Veterans Legal Helpline program. Through our Florida Veterans Legal Helpline, our attorneys provide compassionate and effective legal assistance to veterans around Tampa Bay and throughout the State of Florida.
“This grant from United Way Suncoast will supplement the funds needed to offer life-changing legal advice and advocacy to veteran families around the state,” said Attorney Alex Srsic, Manager the FVLH, Team Leader of the Major General Ernest A. and Marilyn Bedke Veterans Law Center at Bay Area Legal Services.
Bay Area Legal Services launched the Florida Veterans Legal Helpline in 2019 in partnership with with support from the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs. This year, the project will expand to serve more veterans across the state. United Way Suncoast’s support of the Helpline will help close the gap in needed funding to sustain the program.
The Helpline attorneys provide advice and brief assistance regarding a variety of civil legal matters and can refer veterans to local legal aid organizations if such resources exist in their area. To apply for services, call (866) 486-6161, Monday-Friday, 9.a.m.-4:30 p.m.
The community investment represents a first in United Way Suncoast’s 98-year history — a three-year commitment to 88 nonprofits that will total nearly $18 million by fiscal year 2025. In past years, United Way Suncoast issued annual grants. The new approach will empower Bay Area Legal Services to boost the strategic planning behind the program and grow together with United Way Suncoast.
“Our strategic community partners requested a change to multi-year funding and the reasons are clear,” United Way Suncoast CEO Jessica Muroff said. “It’ll create trends and allow us to measure true impact; it’ll reduce the strain of the application process for the partners and UWS, and it’ll strengthen our ability to tell stories and fundraise.”
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