Joint Statement from United Way of Greater Cleveland and The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland

RE: Cleveland City Council's Increased Investment in the Right to Counsel Program

We commend and thank Cleveland City Council, Cleveland City Council President Blaine Griffin, and Mayor Justin Bibb for electing to increase this year’s funding allocation for the Right to Counsel program led by Legal Aid and United Way to $500,000.

Earlier this year, United Way of Greater Cleveland, The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland, and independent firm Stout presented the full-year 2021 Right to Counsel report, including results achieved to Cleveland City Council’s Finance Committee. Through Right to Counsel, 93% of eligible Cleveland residents represented by a Legal Aid attorney were able to avoid an eviction judgment or involuntary move. Cleveland City Council members are very well informed about the Right to Counsel program and its impressive results to date.

Right to Counsel is proven effective in helping Cleveland families facing eviction who live at or below the federal poverty line. This additional $200,000 investment by Cleveland City Council represents a well-thought-out decision to continue to support those most at risk of eviction in Cleveland – primarily Black mothers with children.

Naturally, we will continue our fundraising efforts across the public and private sectors on behalf of Right to Counsel to assist those who need our help avoiding eviction or involuntary moves but also, with the ultimate goal of expanding the program to aid those who also desperately need eviction avoidance support, but do not qualify under our current program, including seniors.

Clevelanders facing eviction and seeking assistance are encouraged to call United Way of Greater Cleveland’s 211 for help or visit

  • Augie Napoli, United Way of Greater Cleveland and Colleen Cotter, The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland



About United Way of Greater Cleveland
Founded in 1913, United Way of Greater Cleveland is a local, independent nonprofit organization dedicated to fighting poverty across the Greater Cleveland area. The largest private-sector investor of health and human services, United Way invests in efforts that address poverty using a two-pronged approach. The first prong focuses on the daily issues affecting those living in poverty, the Community Hub for Basic Needs. The second drives research and innovation through the Impact Institute, a think tank with an action plan, focused on identifying long-term solutions to break the cycle of poverty. For more information, visit and

Media contact:  Katie Connell, United Way of Greater Cleveland: 404.895.5513 and

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