Baltimore County Public Library launches Mobile Library Law Center, aims to reach underserved residents – CBS Baltimore

TOWSON, Maryland (WJZ) – Baltimore County Public Library hits the road to launch its mobile library legal center, offering residents a chance to get free consultation on bankruptcy, child custody and support, debt collection, write-offs , housing, various government benefits and other legal matters.

A partnership with Maryland Legal Aid, the program is reaching out to the eastern and western parts of the county with the goal of reaching people with disabilities, the elderly, veterans and low-income residents.

A Maryland Legal Aid lawyer and librarian will equip the vehicle to offer legal advice and resource information.

“This one-of-a-kind project will help expand access to essential and life-changing services for our most vulnerable neighbors,” Baltimore County Director Johnny Olszewski Jr. said in a statement. “Our libraries have always been anchors of our communities and as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, we remain focused on innovative and compassionate efforts like this to help ensure access to justice equal for all residents of Baltimore County. ”

Even if the program was designed before the pandemic, the arrival of the vehicle comes when many tenants are in a precarious situation with the recently extended the federal moratorium on evictions is due to expire in October, the library system’s announcement noted.
As WJZ reported on Tuesday, Baltimore County distributed $ 19.5 million in county money to pay homeowners and utility companies for families who apply and are eligible.

“We are proud to be the first library system in the country to own and operate a mobile legal vehicle, serving those who do not have access to legal aid due to financial means, immobility or lack of transportation. “Baltimore County Public Library Director Sonia Alcántara-Antoine said in a statement. “Libraries are democratic institutions, giving everyone equal access to resources that will truly create an inclusive society. Initiatives like this ensure that those who need it most have equal access to justice. “

The Mobile Library Law Center is equipped with two meeting spaces and has solar panels and Internet access.

Starting August 11, the vehicle will travel to the Woodlawn area on Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and to the Essex area on Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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