An organization of St. Louis attorneys says minor legal issues are often huge barriers for poor people.

The group Arch City Defenders formed four years ago to help the needy with legal matters.

Executive director Thomas Harvey told KMOX Radio that just when some poor people start to get stability in their lives they run into legal issues, often something like outstanding warrants and fines for misdemeanor traffic violations, that prevents them from getting housing or job training.

Those relatively minor infractions can lead to jail time that costs people their jobs, even their homes and families.

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