AppalReD budget cuts hurt services

By: Erika Glover Email
By: Erika Glover Email

PERRY Co., Ky. (WYMT) - For more than 40 years, AppalReD officials say they have provided free legal aid services for those in Eastern and South Central Kentucky.

Executive director Lance Daniels says their federally funded program handles more than 7,000 cases per year.

However, recent budget cuts could leave those in need without legal representation.

Walking through the doors of AppalReD's legal aid office could lead to disappointment for some.

"Without us a lot of people just won't get the opportunity to have legal representation," said Daniels.

Daniels says a lack of state and federal funding are to blame for cuts of more than $25,000 a month which took effect on the first of June.

Daniels says 23 attorneys are doing their best to cover cases in 37 counties.

Including Perry County where attorney Kyle Hall says the doors keep opening for those in need.

"It's hard already to make sure that every single person that I get a file on gets the best representation they can. It's even harder to do when you know there's 90 other files sitting in your office that need to have something done on them," said Hall.

Hall says the phones keep ringing.

"We already have probably the biggest clientele base in the county," said Hall.

Regardless of funding Hall says everyone deserves representation.

"I don't want to see it get to the point where I have to turn people away where I know I should be able to help just because I don't have the ability to do it because of time constraints, money constraints or whatever the reason," said Hall.

Officials say clients might be turned away based on priority.

Daniels says AppalReD is shutting down their offices in Harlan and Pikeville on the first of August.

He does not anticipate any other closings.

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