|The Colorado Lawyer|
Vol. 28, No. 7 [Page 47]
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Colorado Lawyer Trust Account Foundation
Your COLTAF Dollars At Work
by Marijane Engel
In April 1999, I visited five organizations that received funding through the 1998-1999 Colorado Lawyer Trust Account Foundation's ("COLTAF") discretionary grant cycle. COLTAF awards grants in three categories: legal services program grants; local bar association pro bono program grants; and discretionary grants to other nonprofit organizations with projects that provide legal assistance or education to the disadvantaged and concentrate primarily on domestic violence issues.
This year's list of discretionary grantees included organizations located within the Denver Metro area, as well as throughout rural Colorado. On behalf of the COLTAF staff and Board of Trustees, I extend once more my gratitude to the staffs of these organizations who shared heart-wrenching stories of clients who have passed through their doors.
Pueblo YWCA Family Crisis
This shelter serves Pueblo County, has been a shelter for domestic violence victims since 1978, and has received COLTAF funding since 1990.
Current COLTAF Grant: $5,500
Grant Purpose: To provide legal advocacy to assist in all areas concerning legal matters, including filling out restraining order forms, court accompaniment, agency referrals, and completing divorce documents.
On-Site Information: Community involvement is very much a part of the organization's overall program in helping domestic victims deal with their situations. The local police department, the district attorney's office, and even the local humane society with its pet fostering program are involved in this effort. A transition program is available for clients through which they receive financial help and employment assistance.
Advocates Against Domestic
Assault ("AADA"): Trinidad
This organization has served Las Animas and Huerfano Counties since 1983 and has received COLTAF funding since 1993.
Current COLTAF Grant: $5,000
Grant Purpose: To provide crisis intervention, referrals, safe shelter, counseling, advocacy, and other services to meet the needs of victims of domestic abuse. This program is the only established program in the Third Judicial District that formally addresses the needs of victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault.
On-Site Information: Over the last year, the shelter experienced a 48 percent increase in victims served from the previous year. AADA works with the local police department, the district attorney's office, and other local agencies to help victims. Future plans include opening a thrift store; proceeds would benefit the organization.
Family Crisis Services, Inc.: Cañon City
This domestic violence shelter serves Fremont and Custer Counties, opened in 1987, and has received COLTAF funding since 1991.
Current COLTAF Grant: $3,280
Grant Purpose: To provide legal services for the disadvantaged, victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, and to improve access to legal services through partnership with Pikes Peak/Arkansas River Legal Aid.
On-Site Information: This program is the only agency serving Fremont and Custer Counties. A staff of three oversees the administrative office and operation of the shelter. The shelter works with community-related agencies to keep communications open and improve services. Future plans include finding space for both the administrative offices and the shelter, which are now housed separately.
Justice Information Center ("JIC"): Denver
Since 1974, the Center has provided interpretation and translation services to diverse communities in legal settings throughout Colorado and has received COLTAF funding since 1986.
Current COLTAF Grant: $7,600
Grant Purpose: To support the interpretation/translation department that provides certified translators and interpreters for the court system and other legal-related settings.
On-Site Information: The Center contracts the services of 100 interpreters who are fluent in more than sixty languages. Translators and interpreters are court-certified or professionally tested and approved by JIC. Emergency and after-hours interpretation services are available.
Project Safeguard: Denver
In 1984, Project Safeguard began working with Denver's criminal justice system to develop new policies and procedures toward domestic violence intervention and to accomplish more appropriate and consistent responses to perpetrators and victims. This organization has received COLTAF funding since 1985.
Current COLTAF Grant: $5,800
Grant Purpose: To support the Emergency Legal Advocacy, Assistance, and Crisis Intervention services for battered women and the statewide toll-free hotline that is used by victim advocates, service providers, and battered women.
On-Site Information: Legal advocates provide support to victims seeking temporary and permanent restraining orders prior to and during court appearances, as well as giving assistance regarding other legal-related matters. Future plans are to continue to build on the success of the legal advocacy program and add more advocates as funds allow.
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