$1.36 Million in Grants to Defend Homes & Build Communities
The Great Recession proved to be the worst economic downturn in our country since the Great Depression. According to CoreLogic, 5.5 Million homes were lost due to foreclosure in the U.S. since 2008. Quantifying the number of homes lost is the easy part; it is calculating the feelings of loss, displacement, communities torn apart and the whole heap of legal issues that comes with mass foreclosure that is difficult. The recession may be over, but the aftermath still lingers in communities across our country and in our state.
Although the past cannot be changed, the future can still look bright as the Oklahoma Bar Foundation begins to focus on a new initiative to create a sustainable source of funding and allocations process to defend homes and build communities in Oklahoma. Grants totaling over $1.36 Million have been awarded to aid 17 non-profit organizations. These funds are part of the settlement of nationwide class action litigation commenced by the US Department of Justice against financial entities alleged to have participated in fraudulent lending activities that contributed to the 2008 housing market collapse. The OBF was one of 57 state non-profit entities administering IOLTA funds who received a portion of the settlement funds.
The following non-profits have been named Grantees of the Defend Homes-Build Communities Initiative:
|Catholic Charities||Immigration Legal Services||Western Oklahoma||$75,000|
|Neighbors Building Neighborhoods||Indigent Criminal Defense||Muskogee County||$85,000|
|OCU Law School||Pro Bono Housing Foreclosure & Eviction Assistance||Oklahoma County||$53,800|
|Operation Care Ministries||Community Redevelopment||Jackson County||$25,000|
|Trinity Legal Clinic||The Good Neighbor Initiative||Oklahoma City||$75,000|
|Tulsa County Bar Association||Courthouse Assistance Expansion||Eastern Oklahoma||$15,000|
|Tulsa County Public Defender’s||Veteran’s Court Civil Services||Tulsa County||$150,000|
|Tulsa Lawyers for Children||Improving Foster Care Placement Stability||Statewide||$50,000|
|TU College of Law||Spanish for Lawyers||Eastern Oklahoma||$12,802|
The following Grantees of the Defend Homes-Build Communities Initiative are receiving funding in partnership with Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma for an onsite staff attorney:
|Center for Employment Opportunities||Legal Services for Employment Opportunities||Tulsa County||$75,000|
|Community Action Agency||Community Legal Counsel Center||Oklahoma & Canadian Counties||$75,000|
|Disabled American Veterans of Oklahoma||Legal Services for Disabled Veterans||Northeast Oklahoma||$75,000|
|Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma||Foreclosure Prevention Legal Services||Statewide||$300,000|
|Neighbors Building Neighborhoods||Legal Services & Muskogee Bridges Out of Poverty||Muskogee County||$75,000|
|South Tulsa Community House||S. Tulsa Community Legal Services||South Tulsa||$75,000|
|Tulsa County Juvenile Bureau||Phoenix Rising Alternative School||Tulsa County||$75,000|
|Women’s Haven, Inc.||Legal Services & Domestic Violence Prevention||Stephens & Jefferson Counties||$75,000|
Grantees will submit quarterly impact reports to the OBF explaining how funds are being used. The OBF will be sharing a series of articles highlighting the work of these non-profits and how this funding is making a difference in the lives of Oklahomans.