Cleveland’s historic Legal Aid Society surges with the pandemic

Early in the pandemic, on the verge of turning 70, Susan Steels lost her long-time job as a chef. Meanwhile, her partner’s business of party planning went the way of most parties, and he had a stroke. The bills began to pile up. The mortgage payments looked unpayable.

So, the South Euclid woman joined the swelling crowd seeking unemployment compensation. “I tried to get it online, and I tried to call. I was on the phone, on the phone, on the phone.”

Then friends told her to call the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland. Someone picked up right away and took her information. Someone else called back within 24 hours.

“I was so upset and crying,” Steels recalls. “They walked me through it. They worked it out. They’re so nice. They’re so understanding.”

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