Legal Services of the Virgin Islands Inc. is partnering with the Virgin Islands Bar Association Young Lawyers Division for a series of Disaster Legal Assistance Town Halls on St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix. All events are free and open to the public.
The first Disaster Legal Assistance Town Hall will be held from 1-3 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 25, at Frederick Evangelical Lutheran Church’s Bethania Hall. Guest speakers Francis E. Jackson Jr., Esq. and Malorie Winne Diaz, Esq. will provide important legal information to the community on landlord/tenant law in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Also, the American Red Cross will present on first aid and hurricane preparedness.
The next stop for the series will be a Town Hall from 1-3 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 29, at the Legislature of the Virgin Islands, St. John Annex. The series will conclude with an event on St. Croix in October.
“In the aftermath of the hurricanes Irma and Maria, Legal Services [of the Virgin Islands] provided disaster legal assistance to residents who were walk-ins, referred by the hotline or called directly to our offices in St. Thomas and St. Croix districts. We also met with residents at the hospitals, shelters and other locations, when necessary,” said Shelby King Gaddy, Esq., executive director of Legal Services.
Since hurricanes Irma and Maria, Legal Services has helped disaster survivors with 266 disaster-related cases across the territory. The Legal Services Disaster Advocacy Program provides free legal assistance to low-income disaster survivors for a variety of matters, including landlord/tenant, proof of home ownership, wills, emergency child custody, power of attorney, guardianship, loss of documents, domestic violence, unemployment insurance, contractor fraud disputes and FEMA appeals.
“The Legal Services Disaster Advocacy Program has been working closely with FEMA to translate our written materials into Spanish and French Creole. It is our goal to ensure that our recovery efforts reflect the diversity of our community,” said Casey Payton, Esq., supervising attorney of the Legal Services Disaster Advocacy Program.
Legal Services is an active member of the St. Thomas Recovery Team, the St. John Long Term Recovery Team and the St. Croix Long Term Recovery Group.
Legal Services is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization and the only entity in the U.S. Virgin Islands that provides free high-quality civil legal assistance to low income and underserved individuals in our community.