Bronx legal clinic for women veterans in jeopardy of closing due to funding

Posted: Updated:

A free legal clinic for women veterans is jeopardy of closing its doors.

The New York Legal Assistance Group's Women Veterans Legal Clinics at the James Peters VA Hospital in the Bronx is at risk for closing due to funding.

Unites States Army veteran Caitlin Bassett sought help through the clinic after she says she was having a hard time adjusting to civilian life after three deployments during her military career.         

"I can't stress enough how helpful it is to have, it's not just legal services to help veterans; it's important but one geared toward women," says Bassett, of Kingsbridge.

Samantha Kubek, with the NY Legal Assistance, established the legal clinic, the nation's first for women veterans at VA hospital.

"Women veterans have a unique set of experience and issues that they are facing when they come out and the VA can be a male dominant culture," says Kubek.

The services which are free include legal-related counseling, family law matters, credit card and finance issues and discharge assistance.   

"It's very important for our client to receive care they are comfortable with where they are receiving services; this case, it's here at this hospital we want to continue service," says Kubek.

However, the free legal assistance and counseling for women vets like Bassett is in jeopardy because of lack of government funding.  

"The VA is unable to provide funding for this work because [of] lack of congressional authorization to do so. We rely on foundations, and support has been dwindling," Kubek.

Supporters for the legal clinic are urging Bronx residents to call their local representatives to help continue the valuable services for local women veterans.

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