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State Leaders Celebrate 150th Indiana Legal Help Kiosk Going Online

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Today, the Indiana Bar Foundation (Foundation) and the Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority (IHCDA) celebrated the state's 150th Indiana Legal Help kiosk going online. 
 
Foundation President & CEO Charles Dunlap, Indiana Supreme Court Justice Geoffrey Slaughter, and Senator Todd Young's Northwest Regional Director Jose Diaz were among the officials attending the event, supported by Lake County Clerk Mike Brown and hosted by Lake County Circuit Court Judge Marissa McDermott.
 
The event marked a significant milestone in expanding civil legal assistance to Indiana's rural and underserved communities. The self-service kiosks in every Indiana county are designed for Hoosiers facing housing issues, including eviction. In Indiana, evictions are considered a civil matter, meaning individuals are not provided legal representation and are often left to navigate the legal system independently. The kiosks offer quick and convenient access to the IndianaLegalHelp.org website, which connects Hoosiers to free legal assistance and is a hub for self-help legal forms and resources.

A $13.1 million contract with IHCDA provided funding for the kiosks and expansion of civil legal assistance services. “Hoosiers across our state deserve the same legal support and representation, whether they live in urban or rural communities,” said Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, Indiana’s Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development. “I am proud of IHCDA’s involvement in making legal help accessible through the Indiana Legal Help kiosks. These kiosks will contribute to helping Hoosiers maintain a key factor of their quality of life, a safe place to call home.” 

Indiana is one of the few states with a kiosk program for its residents. "The Foundation is uniquely qualified and positioned to administer this critical program. Our IndianaLegalHelp.org website is an incredible resource for Hoosiers facing eviction, and the kiosks ensure that anyone around the state can easily access the site and find legal help," said Dunlap.
 
While initially focused on housing issues, kiosk users will soon be able to access all Indiana Legal Help resources on child custody, divorce, workplace discrimination, driver’s license suspension and reinstatement, expungement, and other legal issues.

In addition, the Foundation recently launched the Indiana Legal Help Desk, a free service for Hoosiers with housing legal questions. Legal Navigators are available through live chat Monday through Friday to provide legal information and connect individuals to free legal resources such as eviction clinics. Hoosiers can access the Indiana Legal Help Desk in the Housing legal topics section on IndianaLegalHelp.org or at any of the 150 legal help kiosks around the state. Housing questions can also be sent to the help desk through email at ilh@inbarfoundation.org or text 317-548-0350. The help desk will be open for phone calls in the coming weeks.
 
The Foundation has partnered with seven legal aid providers to offer free legal clinics and legal aid to Hoosiers facing eviction. The partners include:

  • Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Inc.
  • Indiana Legal Services, Inc.
  • Indianapolis Legal Aid Society, Inc.
  • Legal Aid Corporation of Tippecanoe County
  • Legal Aid Society of Evansville, Inc.
  • Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic
  • Pro Bono Indiana, Inc.

 
Individuals needing legal help with an eviction or housing instability are encouraged to access resources at https://www.indianalegalhelp.org.

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