MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Ohio (WDTN) – The Montgomery County Veteran Services Commission is the first of 88 Ohio Veterans Services Commission offices to provide legal services to veterans.
“The actual services that are provided are things like estate planning, administrative assistance, housing advocacy like evictions or foreclosures,” said Steven Strain, employee of the Montgomery County Veterans Legal Council. “It’s direct representation, but everyone has the right to come for a minimum consultation. If we don’t provide them with the actual services, then the job is to find the right lawyer and the right resources to help them.
The program was established in March 2021 and assists an average of four veterans a day, five days a week. “It’s really the first and it only lasts a little over six months. Rising once the word got out, we went from I think maybe ten people coming in a month to I think 50. “
With such a new program, Strain says figuring things out as you go makes the job even more fun and fulfilling. “Kind of like building a plane while it takes off on the runway. Everything went really well. The need is there in the community obviously. Because we are the only county to offer it, we have also been able to help veterans outside of Montgomery County, ”Strain said.
Over the past six months, Strain estimates that nearly $ 50,000 has been saved for veterans in the region in legal fees and he hopes more will sign up. “Any veteran of Montgomery County and the surrounding area can make an appointment for a consultation. We also make that available to dependents of veterans, spouses, children, things like that.
Strain said he wanted every veteran to know they deserve these services. “It’s not a handout, it’s something that we are able to give back to the community based on the service they have given us,” Strain said.
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