10 Years Later: The Fight for Overdue Justice

A previous version of this story originally appeared in the Spring 2007 edition of the TRLA Times.

The Evictions Start
In Summer 2006, TRLA law clerks, paralegals, and attorneys started to receive a trickle of phone calls. A handful of hurricane evacuees in Austin had found eviction notices placed on their doors. For months, as part of FEMA’s short-term housing program, cities across Texas paid rent to landlords for evacuees staying in apartments and motels while evacuees applied for long-term FEMA housing assistance. But when FEMA announced its plans to end its short-term housing program, some evacuees faced losing the roofs over their heads. Continue reading

10 Years Later: Evacuees Begin to Face Eviction

A version of this article previously appeared in the Spring 2007 edition of the TRLA Times.

Uprooted from their homes and apartments in Louisiana, Katrina and Rita evacuees found immediate refuge after the storm within convention centers, schools, emergency shelters, and churches. After finding safety, evacuees were shuffled into motels, apartments, mobile homes, and travel trailers for the short term and told they could apply for long-term housing assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Continue reading

10 Years Later: Coming Together to Help the Survivors

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, numerous organizations came together to help and support TRLA’s efforts to provide legal assistance to survivors. The following profile highlights the contribution of law school students, the private bar, and out-of-state friends in providing support. It originally appeared in the Winter 2005 edition of the TRLA Times. Continue reading

10 Years Later: TRLA Helps Hurricane Survivors Rebuild Lives

The following article originally appeared in the Winter 2005 edition of the TRLA Times.

Copyright Alan Pogue

The fallout of Hurricane Katrina made significant, unprecedented demands of nonprofits across Texas entrusted to protect and help the poor – and Texas RioGrande Legal Aid was no exception. The faces of displaced New Orleans residents walking for miles along empty state highways desperately searching for food, water, and rescue called for a renewed examination of social justice for the poor. Continue reading

Success Story: Fighting for Assistance

Joann, right, with TRLA attorney Bernadette Segura

Due to some health issues, Joann was receiving support services from the state that allowed her to have attendant care both in her home and her community. With the help of a caretaker, she was able to keep her home clean and get assistance around her local university to acquire her college degree.

But one day Joann received notice that she was being terminated from the program because she didn’t return her recertification paperwork on time. She appealed the decision and a hearing was scheduled. But she never received notice of the hearing and lost her benefits. A caseworker tried to help Joann fight the decision but wasn’t having any luck. It was then that Joanna turned to Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA) for help. Continue reading