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Unlike in criminal court, low-income people who need to protect their families, their homes, and their livelihoods in civil legal matters don’t have the right to a court-appointed attorney. Even before Covid-19 began ravaging our state, 1 out of every 5 people in Louisiana lived in poverty. Every day, these hardworking families face difficult problems like living in unhealthy housing, illegal evictions, domestic violence, predatory debt collection, denials of healthcare and income supports, and more. Yet they can’t afford to pay an attorney to fight for them. Without your support, many vulnerable will have nowhere to turn for the critical legal help they need to stabilize their lives.
Since this public health emergency began, over 216,000 Louisianans abruptly lost their jobs. SLLS quickly pivoted to providing services remotely to ensure that our clients - and the tens of thousands of newly income eligible people now needing our help - could access our legal safety net services. As the impact and reach of COVID-19 stretches out with no clear end in sight, SLLS continues to mount a strong legal defense to the destabilizing health and economic hardships facing our communities. From illegal lockouts by landlords flaunting eviction bans to domestic violence victims needing protective orders forced to shelter-at-home with their abusers, to improper denials of unemployment compensation claims for thousands of newly unemployed workers, we are busier than ever. Your support is needed to ensure that vulnerable families have critical access to civil legal aid as problems multiply in the fallout from this crisis.
Please help us fight this pandemic by donating to our new COVID-19 Legal Relief Fund. Your support will help us fight for fairness and protect the homes, safety, and security of low-income people during this difficult and troubling time.
You can make your donation online through the link below or mail your donation to: Southeast Louisiana Legal Services, P.O. Drawer 2867 Hammond, LA 70404-2867.
Many generous advocates are joining our 50 More Years Campaign members as "Circle of Justice" members, showing their dedication to fighting for equal access to civil justice for the next 50 years. The Circle of Justice is a new giving circle composed of some of the strongest supporters of civil legal aid. Individuals join the Circle of Justice by making a $1000 donation to SLLS (through a one-time donation or through monthly installments.)
Circle of Justice Members will be recognized throughout 2020 and 2021 in a number of ways, including: Recognition in the 2020 SLLS Annual Report; Invitation for two for a special patron cocktail party for Circle of Justice donors; and Quarterly Circle of Justice Donor Updates.