Category: Media release

Through local partnerships, expunction clinics offer students the opportunity to hone their legal skills while giving clients access to needed legal resources.

By Sean Rowe

After years lost to drug abuse, Anthony Darity, of Asheville, N.C., is working hard to turn his life around. Part of that includes overcoming the collateral effects of addiction by cleaning up his criminal record. “I never really realized how many charges I actually had for serious drug offenses,” Darity said.

Legal Aid of North Carolina attorney Rachel Smith and Lok Ho JD/LLMLE ’25 meeting with a TROSA resident.

Through TROSA, a 24-month residential recovery program located in Durham for men and women from across North Carolina, Darity has been able to secure a stable job and get access to health care. Thanks to a recent clinic offered at TROSA’s James St. campus by the Durham Expunction & Restoration (DEAR) Program, Legal Aid of North Carolina (LANC), and Duke Law School, he will also be able to put his past criminal record behind him.

Nearly 40 Duke Law students volunteered to work with licensed attorneys to help TROSA residents determine if they were eligible to expunge one or more criminal records, including both dismissed charges and older nonviolent convictions. The service, which involves assisting clients with navigating confusing legal documents and terminology, was free.

“It’s a good thing, just the fact that you’re helping people out, people with families, people who never thought they would have a chance,” Darity said.

1L John Godfrey Jr. said the clinic was a high point to his first semester of law school. “It was humbling to be trusted by our clients and the supervising attorneys to do meaningful work,” he said. “As I prepare for exams, I feel much more grounded in why I decided to go to law school and what I can do with my degree.”

Criminal records can be a significant barrier to securing housing and employment and pursuing educational opportunities. In North Carolina, dismissed charges and acquittals are permanent public records that can create a negative impression with employers, landlords, and licensing boards that makes it more difficult for people to achieve stability and access economic opportunity.

TROSA resident Samuel Downey of Durham said his criminal record has been a barrier to finding work. Being open about his past often didn’t help.

“I’ve went to jobs and applied and when it gets to the point where it says, ‘Do you have a felony?’ I was always put ‘Yes,’” Downey said. “There are times when I can explain my way through it and there were times where it was like zero tolerance for a felon.”

In preparation for the clinic, students attended a series of three work sessions at the Law School, where they worked with a supervising attorney to review each of the 25 clients’ cases for expunction eligibility and to prepare necessary petitions. Jessica Miller ’24 said she looked forward to meeting with the TROSA residents and sharing some good news.

“It was so rewarding to be able to show the clients their petitions that we had worked to prepare for them, and to help them clear their records and get a fresh start!,” Miller said. 

Darity said he was the first in-person client for the student he met with, recalling them as “nervous,” but “confident.” Downey said he came away feeling more informed about his options and more hopeful about his future.

“We had a good conversation,” Downey said. “They really broke it down, what I needed to know as far as letting me know what I could pursue as far as my criminal record.”

1L Caroline Granitur said working in the clinic is in line with her professional aspirations of doing post-conviction pro bono work. “Having this hands-on opportunity to connect with a real person and complete real work to help them expunge past records has allowed my law school experience to go beyond the confines of the classroom and do good for the broader Durham community,” she said.

On hand to supervise students at the clinic were Duke Law Director of Pro Bono D.J. Dore; Jessica Luong T’04, DEAR Supervising Attorney and a former Mecklenburg County assistant public defender; Ali Nininger-Finch, DEAR Staff Attorney; and Rachel Smith ’18, LANC Staff Attorney. DEAR’s Jeremiah Brutus coordinated the clinic.

Dore pointed to the expunction clinic as both a hands-on learning opportunity for students and a chance for them to see how their work can impact a client’s life.

“The TROSA expunction clinic provides the perfect example of experiential learning through meaningful pro bono work because it requires our law students to use a wide range of legal skills, including statutory analysis and application, document drafting, and client counseling,” Dore said. “But what makes this clinic special is knowing how hard these residents have worked to overcome significant substance use disorders. All the clinic’s clients have completed at least 15 months in the program, and I witnessed a few emotional moments when a student was able to inform a client about significant expunction relief. Allowing our students to play a small part in the residents’ recovery is an extremely meaningful experience.”

Darity says he’s looking forward to making a new start with a new foundation. “The future looks bright,” he said, adding some words of encouragement for the students: “Believe in yourself.”

Read this article on Duke Law’s website.

Category: Media release

← Back to Healthcare Access

Raleigh, N.C. – The NC Navigator Consortium welcomes the start of Open Enrollment for the Health Insurance Marketplace® at HealthCare.gov with an updated website to help North Carolina residents get covered at NCNavigator.net. While Open Enrollment lasts until Jan. 15, 2023, the NC Navigator Consortium’s statewide network of health insurance Navigators work year-round to answer questions about health coverage, help consumers update their HealthCare.gov policies and enroll in new ones after qualifying life events. To that end, the upgraded NCNavigator.net makes it easier to connect consumers with the information they need, and access to the free, unbiased help finding quality, affordable coverage they have come to trust.

Open Enrollment for HealthCare.gov Marketplace coverage will not end until Jan. 15, 2023, but those who need coverage starting Jan. 1, 2023, will need to apply by Dec. 15, 2022. The NC Navigator Consortium’s federally qualified health insurance Navigators are available by free appointments (by phone, in person or virtually) to provide local help to consumers needing to apply for or update their Marketplace coverage. Appointments may be scheduled online by calling 1-855-733-3711 or online at NCNavigator.net.

Designed and developed by Kelso Communications and J.D. Ledford of 18 Stone Design, the new NCNavigator.net features FAQs and resources to educate consumers on the importance of health insurance, the difference between HealthCare.gov and Medicaid/CHIP and more. The site also features important updates such as next steps for Bright Health policyholders following the termination of their policies, and those who may be impacted by the end of the family glitch which makes it possible for families to purchase coverage other than employer-sponsored health insurance.

NC Navigator homepage screenshot.png

“The service we provide is even more critical now the family glitch has been fixed, making millions more eligible for coverage on the HealthCare.gov Marketplace,” said Mark Van Arnam, director of the NC Navigator Consortium, who added that coverage has never been more affordable. “Thanks to tax credits and subsidies made possible by the Inflation Reduction Act, four out of five enrollees are getting covered for $10 or less.”

The NC Navigator Consortium connects consumers to qualified health plans that provide essential health benefits and preventive care, in addition to mental health care, ER care and maternity coverage, not limited by caps or pre-existing conditions. Health insurance Navigators help North Carolinians maximize their coverage by:

  • Taking time with them to help avoid mistakes
  • Showing all options, ensuring their providers are in-network
  • Explaining terminology and processes, increasing health insurance literacy
  • Assisting them with estimating their income for the year ahead, one of the most difficult parts of the HealthCare.gov application process

The NC Navigator Consortium is the only federally funded entity of its kind in North Carolina, supported in part by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Learn more at NCNavigator.net, and follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Members of the Consortium are Access East, Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy, Council on Aging of Buncombe County, Cumberland HealthNET, HealthCare Access, HealthNet Gaston, Kintegra Health, NC FIELD and Pisgah Legal Services. The Consortium is led by Legal Aid of North Carolina

Legal Aid of North Carolina is a statewide, nonprofit law firm that provides free legal services in civil matters to low-income people in order to ensure equal access to justice and to remove legal barriers to economic opportunity. Learn more at legalaidnc.org and follow on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube

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The project described was supported by Funding Opportunity number NAVCA210405-02-00 from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The contents provided are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of HHS or any of its agencies.

Category: Media release

Happy Pro Bono Week, y’all! Started in 2009 by the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service, the National Celebration of Pro Bono, held over the course of a week every October, is a time to raise awareness of the need for pro bono service, celebrate the contributions of current volunteers and inspire the participation of new ones. Learn more at celebrateprobono.org.

Legal Aid of North Carolina is celebrating Pro Bono Week by launching a pro bono recruitment campaign that will run through the end of the year. Our Pro Bono team has spent the better part of 2022 reimagining, redesigning and refreshing our pro bono programs to meet the most critical needs of our clients while making pro bono more convenient, rewarding, flexible—and fun!—for our volunteers.

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Want to learn more?

Visit the Pro Bono section of our website to learn about our programs, meet our team, and fill out our Pro Bono Interest Form.

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Join our Pro Bono email list to get the latest news about our programs, partner organizations, volunteers and more.

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Fill out our Pro Bono Interest Form to tell us about yourself, your experience, and what you’re interested in doing. The form only takes a few minutes to complete.

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Check out the latest from our Pro Bono team!

New website, new pro bono content

Legal Aid of North Carolina has launched a new website, and it’s chock full of fresh content about our pro bono programs. 

Learn more

Ashley Campbell, Lawyer on the Line 

Our new CEO, Ashley Campbell, one of our most dedicated pro bono volunteers while in private practice, handled her own Lawyer on the Line call to promote our flagship pro bono program, which connects clients with pro bono attorneys who provide legal advice over the phone. 

Learn more

Cadwalader Pro Bono Fair 

Erin Haygood, our Director of Pro Bono Programs, attended the Pro Bono Fair hosted by Cadwalader in its Charlotte office. The theme of the event was “Get Your Piece of the Pro Bono Pie!” and attendees were treated to a delicious assortment of mini pies.

Learn more

Fall Break Pro Bono with Duke Law 

Duke Law students spent their fall break volunteering with the Durham Expunction and Restoration Program (DEAR), a joint effort of Legal Aid of North Carolina and other Durham organizations. 

Learn more

Truist, Womble Expunction Project 

Corporate Counsel spotlighted our criminal record expunction project with Truist and Womble Bond Dickinson. 

Learn more

Duke Law, NC Central Law team up for Legal Aid 

Students from the Bull City’s two law schools teamed up to represent Legal Aid clients through our Lawyer on the Line program during a virtual pro bono clinic. 

Learn more

5th Annual Charlotte Triage Pro Bono Partnership Event 

Our staff played a big part in the event, which  brings together all sectors of the city’s legal community to address the critical legal needs of Charlotte’s most vulnerable residents. 

Learn more

Category: Media release

Legal Aid of North Carolina is a civil non-profit law firm dedicated to providing equal justice to North Carolina residents who are experiencing poverty and marginalization. The Legal Aid NC team is diverse and our culture is inclusive. Our aim is to not only provide our clients with legal help but empowerment. To ensure equal access to justice for all, we respect backgrounds, honor heritage and view what makes us different as assets. We invite you to do the same.

Heritage Month Celebration(s)

September 26 – Rosh Hashanah

September 15-October 15-Hispanic Heritage Month

October 10-Indigenous People’s Day

October 10-Sukkot

October 17-Shemini Atzeret

October 11-National Coming Out Day (U.S./U.K.)

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Global Diversity Awareness Month

Filipino American History Month

Emotional Wellness Month

Dyslexia Awareness Month

What is Rosh Hashanah

Rosh Hashanah, which means “the head of the year,” is the Jewish New Year. The biblical name for this holiday is Yom Teruah. It is the traditional anniversary of the creation of the world and the creation of Adam and Eve, who are known as the biblical first man and first woman. Rosh Hashanah is also a judgment day, when Jews believe that their God considers people’s deeds from the previous year, decides what the next year will be like for them, and inscribes the results in the Book of Life for the coming year.

Rosh Hashanah is a two-day celebration that begins on the first day of Tishrei, in the seventh month of the Jewish ecclesiastical year. -Courtesy of Henry Ford College

Category: Media release

Now legalaidnc.org is more user-friendly and accessible for clients

Now legalaidnc.org is more user-friendly and accessible for clients

Raleigh, N.C. – Legal Aid of North Carolina has fully launched its new website at the existing legalaidnc.org address. Designed and developed by Charlotte-based Kelso Communications and Priceless Misc, the website features the new Legal Aid NC brand debuted earlier this year to celebrate and honor the organization’s 20th anniversary. Navigation has been updated to better tell the organization’s story and demonstrate the incredible impact the organization makes in all 100 counties of North Carolina. Most importantly, client resources and self-help materials have been reorganized to be easily accessible and searchable. The new legalaidnc.org website also makes it easier for the community to donate and get involved.

“While I am thrilled with how fresh and friendly the design of our new website is, I am even more excited by how well it will serve our clients,” said Ashley Campbell, CEO of Legal Aid of North Carolina. “Our attorneys, paralegals and staff are always happy to help, but this website will help our community educate and empower themselves.”

The new Get Help section of legalaidnc.org:

In addition to better serving clients, the robust Pro Bono section of legalaidnc.org caters to members of the legal community across North Carolina who are looking for a way to give back. The website features a full list of pro bono programs and staff who can help attorneys, law students, paralegals and others channel their passion into projects that maximize their impact and time. The website also features opportunities for continuing legal education.

Legal Aid NC’s upgraded website is a key milestone in the organization’s 20th anniversary strategy to increase its impact. Legal Aid of NC has grown to become the only organization that can remove civil legal barriers to economic opportunity for every vulnerable North Carolinian. Currently, the organization includes more than 500 staff and volunteer attorneys who provide legal services to 22,609 people, benefitting 53,265 total individuals, with the legal and non-legal services they need to live safe, stable, self-sufficient, productive and meaningful lives. Though the organization makes a huge difference, the demand for its services surpasses its capacity to help. Legal Aid NC’s investment in redeveloping its website ensures that legalaidnc.org is no longer a barrier for those who want to donate or volunteer.

Legal Aid of North Carolina is a statewide, nonprofit law firm that provides free legal services in civil matters to low-income people in order to ensure equal access to justice and to remove legal barriers to economic opportunity. Learn more at legalaidnc.org. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube

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Category: Media release

Collage of headshots
Top (left to right): D.J. Dore, Director of Pro Bono, Duke Law; Lakethia Jefferies, Director of the Pro Bono Legal Clinic, NCCU Law; Charles Holton, Director of Duke Law’s Civil Justice Clinic. Bottom (left to right): NCCU Law student James Whitaker; Duke Law student Zoe Terner; NCCU Law student Itzy Wallace; Duke Law student Tori Simon.

With the city soaked and wind-whipped by Hurricane Ian, 20 students from Durham’s two law schools, Duke Law and NCCU School of Law, gathered on Zoom September 30 to provide free legal help to Legal Aid clients confronting housing-condition problems.

Organized by D.J. Dore, Director of Pro Bono for Duke Law, and Lakethia Jefferies, Director of the Pro Bono Legal Clinic at NCCU Law, the event was part of Legal Aid’s Lawyer on the Line pro bono program, which connects clients with relatively simple legal problems to lawyers—or law students working under their supervision—who provide legal advice and brief services over the phone.

The students arrived to the event with a training session under their belt, a case file in their hand, an expectant client awaiting their call, and an eagerness to make a real difference in our clients’ lives. The students called their clients, listened to their stories, asked questions, gave the legal advice they were authorized to give, and paused to consult with a supervising attorney if questions or other issues arose. After their calls, the students drafted follow-up letters to the clients summarizing their problem and detailing the advice provided to them.

Housing-condition cases involve clients confronting serious problems in their home. Our clients come to us for help with dangerous and degrading situations, including pervasive mold, backed-up sewage lines and other similarly serious issues. Worse yet, housing-condition problems can lead to eviction, either due to landlord retaliation in response to tenant complaints, or due to clients withholding rent to force their landlord’s hand. The latter tactic generally puts tenants on the wrong side of state housing law, giving the landlord grounds to file for eviction.

“This was a great opportunity to assist those in need,” said James Whitaker, a second-year student at NCCU Law. “There are individuals within our society whose humanity is under attack due to deplorable living conditions. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to assist those seeking adequate housing conditions.”

“This was my first ever client interaction!” said Zoe Terner, a first-year student at Duke Law. “It was such an incredible reminder of why I decided to go to law school in the first place, and a great experience to learn more about the crucial work of Legal Aid of North Carolina.”

“My client was struggling to get her landlord to fix issues in her home that were damaging her health,” said Itzy Wallace, a first-year student at NCCU Law. “More than anything, it seemed that my client wanted reassurance that her concerns were valid and that she still had agency in the situation. Experiencing the level of trust that a client places in their lawyer (or law student, in my case) is a great reminder of why I chose to become a lawyer.”

“I really enjoyed participating in the Lawyer on the Line event!” said Tori Simon, a second-year student at Duke Law. “It was a wonderful opportunity to work with Legal Aid attorneys and connect with clients. I hope to participate in more LOTL events in the future and continue to learn how law students can support North Carolina residents.”

Special thanks to Charles Holton, Director of Duke Law’s Civil Justice Clinic, Duke Law alum and former chair of our board of directors, who served as a supervising attorney for the event, making himself available to consult with the students for the entire event.

Other supervising attorneys were Duke’s D.J. Dore; NCCU’s Lakethia Jefferies; Erin Haygood, Director of Pro Bono Programs at Legal Aid; Nicole Mueller, Supervising Attorney on Legal Aid’s Pro Bono Programs team; and Katie Barkley, staff attorney in Legal Aid’s Pittsboro office. Legal Aid case coordinators Cierra Baker, Jill Bridges, Sarah Moore and Shameka Joseph screened the clients and prepared the case files for the students.

To learn more about Lawyer on the Line and our other pro bono programs, visit the Pro Bono section of our website.

Category: Media release

Image source: McGuireWoods

Yesterday’s fifth annual Charlotte Triage Pro Bono Partnership event was a huge success. Attorneys and leaders from corporations, law firms, legal aid groups and other public-interest organizations gathered together to further strengthen this partnership, which brings together all sectors of the city’s legal community to address the critical legal needs of Charlotte’s most vulnerable residents.

We would like to extend special thanks to the leaders of the partnership:

  • Bank of America
  • Duke Energy
  • Husqvarna
  • McGuireWoods
  • Moore & Van Allen
  • Wells Fargo

And to our partners on the housing/eviction team:

  • Greg Volk from Bank of America
  • Mark Kinghorn from McGuireWoods
  • Nader Raja from Moore & Van Allen
  • Paul Osowski from Nelson Mullins

Ashley Campbell, CEO of Legal Aid of North Carolina, was a speaker at the event. Other speakers were:

  • Kodwo Ghartey-Tagoe, Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary, Duke Energy
  • Kieth Cockrell, President, Bank of America Charlotte
  • Mark K. Metz, Deputy General Counsel, Wells Fargo
  • Toussaint Romain, CEO, Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy

O’Shauna Hunter, head of our Charlotte office’s housing unit, and Casey Burke, joint pro bono coordinator for our Charlotte office and Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy, are members of the Charlotte Triage Task Force. Other members are:

  • Sarah Byrne, Senior Counsel, Moore & Van Allen
  • Alex Castle, Deputy General Counsel, Duke Energy
  • John Grupp, VP Americas, Deputy General Counsel, Arrival
  • Stephanie Gryder, Senior Manager of Diversity & Community Initiatives, Moore & Van Allen
  • Mandy Schuller, Legal Department, Wells Fargo
  • Todd Stillerman, Associate General Counsel, Wells Fargo
  • Joanna Wade, Associate General Counsel and Senior Vice President, Bank of America
  • Angie Zimmern, Counsel and Pro Bono Director, McGuireWoods

Isaac Sturgill, head of our Housing Practice Group, and Thomas Holderness, supervising attorney in our Charlotte office’s housing unit, prepared a virtual CLE program on representing tenants facing eviction, which was screened at the event.

To learn more, visit probono.mcguirewoods.com/charlotte-triage.

Category: Media release

RALEIGH, N.C. — Legal Aid of North Carolina is proud to announce that managing attorney of the Winston-Salem office, Daniel H. Joyce, has been selected as a member of the 2023 class of Leadership Winston-Salem’s Flagship Program. Leadership Winston-Salem’s Flagship Program is designed to inspire selected community leaders to educate and connect with each other. The program challenges participants to increase their personal and collective capacity to transform the community through civic engagement, servant leadership and building social capital. More on the program can be found on Leadership Winston-Salem’s website.

“Under Daniel’s leadership, his team has been working to remove civil legal barriers to economic opportunity for Winston-Salem neighbors in need,” said Legal Aid of North Carolina CEO Ashley Campbell. “We are thrilled that Daniel was selected to be part of this influential group, and are eager to learn from his experience.” 

Daniel Joyce is a 2011 graduate of the Elon University School of Law. Prior to earning his law degree, he received a Bachelor of Science in business administration from Appalachian State University. Joyce began working at Legal Aid NC in 2016 as a staff attorney representing victims and survivors of domestic violence. Before Legal Aid of North Carolina, he worked in private practice, focusing in both criminal and civil-domestic violence law. He currently serves as the managing attorney for the Winston-Salem office of Legal Aid of North Carolina. 

“Public service is my passion, and I am always looking for a way to increase my impact to help others,” said Joyce. “I am thankful for the support of my Legal Aid of North Carolina team.”

Likened to a “community MBA,” Leadership Winston-Salem’s Flagship Program participants benefit through active engagement, attending an entire day of programming each month. They work in “action learning teams” to address a real-life dilemma faced by a local agency. The program involves a considerable investment of time and effort in pre-work assignments and engagement in action learning projects for the duration of the program. 

Legal Aid of North Carolina is a statewide, nonprofit law firm that provides free legal services in civil matters to low-income people in order to ensure equal access to justice and to remove legal barriers to economic opportunity. Learn more at legalaidnc.org, and on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube. Need legal help? Call 1-866-219-5262 (toll-free) or apply online. 

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Category: Media release

← Back to Disaster Relief

Legal Aid of North Carolina is helping those recovering from the catastrophic flooding that occurred in August 2021 through free disaster recovery legal services and clinics.  

Legal Aid will host clinics in October to assist those affected by Tropical Storm Fred. Storm survivors interested in Legal Aid’s services should call 866-219-5262, extension 2657 to learn more about how Legal Aid may be able to help and schedule an appointment for an upcoming clinic. 

Legal Aid may be able to help with accessing assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Small Business Administration, or the Office of State Budget & Management. Storm survivors may face fraudulent contractors and suppliers, tax issues, home ownership/heir property questions, and the need for wills and advanced directives. Legal Aid can help with this and more. 

In June, the Legal Services Corporation announced that it would award $4.35 million to Legal Aid to support the delivery of legal services to low-income people impacted by Tropical Storm Fred, Hurricane Isaias, Tropical Storm Eta, and other severe weather events the state faced in 2020 and 2021. The new grant funds will be used to continue to provide disaster legal services to multiple areas of the state, including Western North Carolina.  

Those interested in Legal Aid’s disaster recovery services are encouraged to attend an upcoming event. Call 866-219-5262, extension 2657 to schedule an appointment. Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments are preferred. 

The events scheduled in October include: 

Sunday, October 16 from 1-5 p.m. 

Cruso Community Center 

13186 Cruso Rd. 

Canton, NC 28716 

Monday, October 17 from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. 

Fines Creek Library 

190 Fines Creek Rd.

Clyde, NC 28721 

Tuesday, October 18 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. 

Transylvania County Library

212 S. Gaston St. 

Brevard, NC 28712 

Wednesday, October 19 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. 

Cruso United Methodist Church 

11653 Cruso Rd. 

Canton, NC 28716  

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About 

Legal Aid of North Carolina is a statewide, nonprofit law firm that provides free legal services in civil matters to low-income people in order to ensure equal access to justice and to remove legal barriers to economic opportunity. Legal Aid’s Disaster Relief Project provides legal assistance and education to survivors of natural disasters in North Carolina and supports community economic development and long-term recovery in disaster-impacted communities. Learn more at legalaidnc.org. Follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagramLinkedIn and YouTube

Media Contact 

Hannah Brown, Legal Aid of North Carolina, 704-526-9449, hannahl@legalaidnc.org 

Category: Media release

← Back to Healthcare Access

Grant is the second largest award given to 59 organizations across the country

Raleigh – The NC Navigator Consortium is proud to announce that the total for its 2022 CMS Navigator Cooperative Agreement is $6,444,386, the second largest award given to 59 navigator organizations in the United States. The NC Navigator Consortium reaches more than 300,000 North Carolinians each year, providing peace of mind to those seeking free, unbiased help finding quality, affordable health insurance coverage. This grant will enable the organization to expand its reach and increase awareness of the credits and subsidies available on the Health Insurance Marketplace® at HealthCare.gov. More about the NC Navigator Consortium is available at ncnavigator.net. Information about the program and all 2022 awardees can be found on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) website.

The NC Navigator Consortium is a nonpartisan, nonprofit group of organizations whose health insurance navigators connect consumers to qualified health plans that provide essential health benefits and preventive care, in addition to mental healthcare, ER care and maternity coverage, not limited by caps or pre-existing conditions. Navigators show consumers all their options, and check to ensure their providers and prescriptions are covered on the plan they select. Navigators are available year-round for questions and to address other issues like qualifying life events, special Open Enrollment periods and income adjustments.

“We thank CMS and are humbled by the vote of confidence in our organization that this award represents,” said Mark Van Arnam, director of the NC Navigator Consortium, who added more than one million North Carolinians are uninsured. “This grant will ensure every North Carolina resident has access to the help they need to get coverage to keep their families healthy.”

According to CMS: “Since 2013, Navigators have helped Americans understand their health insurance options … As trusted community partners, their mission focuses on assisting the uninsured and other underserved communities. Navigators serve an important role in connecting communities that historically have experienced lower access to health coverage and greater disparities in health outcomes to health coverage.”

“With adequate health insurance, families in poverty don’t have to choose between staying healthy and feeding their family or keeping the lights on,” said Ashley Campbell, CEO of Legal Aid of North Carolina, which leads the NC Navigator Consortium. “Access to affordable health insurance is key to providing stability for our clients and helps move families out of poverty.”

The NC Navigator Consortium is the only federally funded entity of its kind in North Carolina, supported in part by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Learn more at ncnavigator.net, and follow on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. Members of the Consortium are Access EastCharlotte Center for Legal AdvocacyCouncil on Aging of Buncombe CountyCumberland HealthNETHealthCare AccessHealthNet GastonKintegra HealthNC FIELD and Pisgah Legal Services. The Consortium is led by Legal Aid of North Carolina

Legal Aid of North Carolina is a statewide, nonprofit law firm that provides free legal services in civil matters to low-income people in order to ensure equal access to justice and to remove legal barriers to economic opportunity. Learn more at legalaidnc.org and follow on FacebookTwitterInstagramLinkedIn and YouTube

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The project described was supported by Funding Opportunity number CA-NAV-21-001 from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The contents provided are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or any of its agencies.