Shelter from the Winter

Published: September 23, 2014   |   No Comments  |  Read more

On September 15, AVLF sponsored a screening of the documentary American Winter. Through the stories of eight families, the documentary vividly shows how one lost job can cascade into depleted savings, utility shutoffs, eviction, homelessness, hunger, and profound hopelessness.

The film follows one woman visiting a food bank for the first time. As a worker places food in her basket, the woman breaks down crying. She explains that she’s never had to turn to a food bank before; the groceries will make a huge difference to her family. The worker hugs her, touches her hand, looks in her eyes. “You can help somebody another time,” the worker says.

One Step Toward Justice

Published: June 16, 2014   |   No Comments  |  Read more

Mrs. Thomas twisted her fingers nervously in her lap. We sat at the kitchen table in her Vine City home, collection notices and court papers spread out before us.

“I wanted to pay the credit card bill,” she told me. “I knew I owed it, and I knew I was supposed to pay. I just didn’t have the money.” Mrs. Thomas called for legal help after she went to the bank to withdraw money and learned that her account had been frozen because of a garnishment.