ILNews

Legal services keeps funding in Hammond

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The city of Hammond will continue to give $20,000 to the local office of Indiana Legal Services Inc. after city officials initially recommended the council cut the funding entirely.

The city council voted 5-4 Monday to distribute funds from a federal Community Development Block Grant. The ILS office has received $20,000 for several years from the disbursement; however, the city received less CDBG money than in previous years and reduced funding for several agencies.

Richard P. Komyatte, an attorney who practices in Highland and who is on the state ILS board of directors, said it was the only agency to have all its funding cut.

Komyatte met with the council and explained that the local office served 218 Hammond residents in addition to other area residents who came to the Hammond ILS location. ILS also has offices in Gary and East Chicago. Breaking that down, the grant monies put the cost at $91 per Hammond resident served, according to Komyatte. He added that some cases took only one hour while others could take five, 10, or even 20 hours.

He said the city is getting a lot of value for its money.

The council originally allotted $10,000 for a new agency, but it took half of that for ILS. In addition, $5,000 was cut from the $20,000 given to another agency; and $10,000 from a city court judge's program in which he has people on probation paint over graffiti. With the changes, ILS was able to keep its $20,000.

Two city councilors told the judge they would give monies from their district's share of casino funds for his program."We are well pleased that we were able to keep our funding," said Komyatte.
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  1. As an adoptive parent, I have to say this situation was as shameful as it gets. While the state government opens its wallet to the Simons and their friends, it denied payments to the most vulnerable in our state. Thanks Mitch!

  2. We as lawyers who have given up the range of First amendment freedom that other people possess, so that we can have a license to practice in the courts of the state and make gobs of money, that we agree to combat the hateful and bigoted discrimination enshrined in the law by democratic majorities, that Law Lord Posner has graciously explained for us....... We must now unhesitatingly condemn the sincerely held religious beliefs of religiously observant Catholics, Muslims, Christians, and Jewish persons alike who yet adhere to Scriptural exhortations concerning sodomites and catamites..... No tolerance will be extended to intolerance, and we must hate the haters most zealously! And in our public explanations of this constitutional garbledygook, when doing the balancing act, we must remember that the state always pushes its finger down on the individualism side of the scale at every turn and at every juncture no matter what the cost to society.....to elevate the values of a minority over the values of the majority is now the defining feature of American "Democracy..." we must remember our role in tricking Americans to think that this is desirable in spite of their own democratically expressed values being trashed. As a secular republic the United States might as well be officially atheist, religious people are now all bigots and will soon be treated with the same contempt that kluckers were in recent times..... The most important thing is that any source of moral authority besides the state be absolutely crushed.

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  5. Based on several recent Indy Star articles, I would agree that being a case worker would be really hard. You would see the worst of humanity on a daily basis; and when things go wrong guess who gets blamed??!! Not biological parent!! Best of luck to those who entered that line of work.

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