EDISON – With tens of thousands of New Jerseyans still reeling from the ravages of Hurricane Sandy, a special hotline number — 1-888-222-5765 — has been opened by Legal Services of New Jersey (LSNJ) for financially eligible people needing legal help dealing with Sandy-related civil legal issues. Services are provided free of charge.
“There’s no question that poor people need help in dealing with FEMA, or confronting eviction or foreclosure or many other civil legal problems, now more than ever before,” announced LSNJ president Melville D. Miller, Jr. “Although our resources are badly stretched, Legal Services will find a way to assist Sandy victims. It is essential to bring the expertise of our staff to bear on those problems. We also have a corps of pro bono lawyers to whom we will be referring callers.”
The special hotline is part of a major new and coordinated effort by LSNJ and the six regional Legal Services offices across the state to help the impoverished understand the issues facing them and what steps need to be taken.
“We urge people to make use of the toll-free Sandy hotline,” Miller said. Added Linda Babecki, LSNJ’s chief coordinator of its Sandy response, “We are here to help. Through our pro bono effort we have a network of attorneys willing to take on issues, free of charge, to financially eligible people, and the Sandy Hotline — 1-888-222-5765 — is the door to that access. If they are able, people should first visit our main community website, www.LSNJ.ORG, to expedite their request for help.”
In addition to the Sandy Hotline, Legal Services also has a regular hotline available for low-income people, various websites offering constantly-updated information pertinent to the poor, and a website designed to enlist lawyers from across the state to offer pro bono services. Special training sessions are provided for attorneys who sign up for the pro bono program.
The Sandy Hotline is a key element of Legal Services’ overall effort to coordinate its various assistance efforts in response to Sandy’s destruction and the problems remaining for those in the hurricane’s wake.
For years Legal Services has operated its regular hotline — 1-888-LSNJ-LAW — which handles tens of thousands of calls every year. The hotline can also be reached online at www.LSNJLAW.ORG.