Veterans issues: Stand Down offers legal aid that can help vets land jobs, homes
In a convention hall packed with dozens of organizations offering homeless veterans free haircuts, medical and eye exams, a hot meal and even warm winter coats, the booth where attorneys dispense legal advice might not seem so enticing.
But clearing an ancient criminal conviction from your record, dealing with an unpaid debt that a creditor took to court or finally addressing a former landlord’s claim that you damaged an apartment can be the simple first steps toward landing a job or finding stable housing, said Dianna Howie, managing attorney of the pro bono section of the Legal Aid Society of Columbus.
“It’s been an eye-opening experience for me to realize by working with those connected to the military that it is not a guarantee that you have legal assistance just by virtue of being a veteran,” Howie said. “Veterans are a vulnerable population, but we understand that addressing that legal issue will impact their ability to have a stable life in so many ways.”