Oklahomans know natural disasters impact the state at high rates, but most are likely not aware how common it is for disaster survivors to experience civil legal issues following disaster events. As those legal issues may be significant barriers to their recovery, it is critical that Oklahomans receive information about those potential legal issues, and how they may be mitigated, prior to the occurrence of a disaster event. However, establishing trust and delivering effective outreach about those legal issues, especially in rural areas, can be difficult for Legal Aid without allies in the local community. How can Legal Aid get critical information in the hands of those who need it most? The answer: Faith leaders. Faith leaders are trusted members of their community - Research in Oklahoma has shown that, when in distress, Oklahomans seek counsel and guidance from their faith leaders second only to family and friends. Please join Legal Aid to learn more about the post-disaster legal issues that could impact Oklahoma faith communities, and how faith leaders can help protect their congregations from delayed recoveries.
Faith leaders provide trusted social, emotional, and spiritual support to their communities, especially in times of crisis. Disasters and crisis events, all too common in Oklahoma, amplify the vulnerabilities of impacted families, exacerbating existing legal issues or causing new legal problems that are unique to disaster events.
Our most vulnerable persons often do not know they have legal needs following disasters and other crises. These presentations will provide faith leaders with information to recognize potential legal needs within their communities following disasters and strategies for making referrals to pro-bono legal services.
“The vital role of faith community leaders in recognizing issues and referring congregations for help with civil legal problems after disasters. LASO is grateful for funding from Legal Services Corporation via the Midwest Legal Disaster Coordination Project to provide community trainings on this important subject.”
Workshop participants will learn:
Common legal problems experienced by disaster and crisis-impacted families and individuals such as:
Loss of important documents
Finding and referring congregants to pro-bono legal services
Low-income client community, and especially the rural community, often does not know it has legal needs following a disaster.