A letter from Deputy Director Michael Lucas.
AVLF is at the front lines in more ways than one. As the COVID-19 numbers in the country continue to grow, intimate partner abuse continues to rise, and more Atlantans than ever face imminent eviction.
The situation is, plainly put, disastrous. And as the virus impacts Black and Brown communities at a disproportionate rate, we are also collectively reckoning with the structural and systemic racism that pervades all aspects of our society.
We are here standing with Atlantans in court, providing emergency financial assistance, and connecting our clients — the majority of whom are Black — to crucial wraparound services.
As our community stands together to fight for Black lives — for dignity, hope, and equal justice for all — our staff is working around the clock to provide for families in the midst of overlapping crises. We are here standing with Atlantans in court, providing emergency financial assistance, and connecting our clients — the majority of whom are Black — to crucial wraparound services.
But our efforts aren’t enough. There is so much more work to be done. While around 400 ex parte protective orders have been filed since the start of the pandemic, countless more survivors are finding it harder to access resources, shelter, and stability as the pandemic surges.
And as of mid-June, there were 2,264 outstanding landlord-tenant matters in the Fulton County Court system. And between the writs held by the Marshall and the Magistrate Court, it’s likely that nearly 1,100 individuals will very likely find themselves homeless as early as July 20, 2020 — the date Marshals resume serving writs.
We need volunteers remotely, and we need volunteers who are willing to brave the virus, step into the front lines, and stand with our clients in court.
Our housing justice work works directly to combat the structural racism inherent in our city’s housing and economic systems. And while intimate partner abuse can affect anyone, studies have shown that women, girls, and non-binary people of color are hyper-vulnerable to abuse.
You can help by volunteering. We need volunteers remotely, and we need volunteers who are willing to brave the virus, step into the front lines, and stand with our clients in court. We need all hands on deck: paralegals, law students, attorneys, and anyone else who is committed to the fight for equal justice.
Community support is more important than ever.
You can also help by donating. Community support is more important than ever. Help us provide crucial advocacy for Atlantans in crisis. Give generously — to us, and to other organizations fighting alongside us. Your community is counting on you.
Want to read other Letters From Leadership? They are an easy way to find out what drives us here at AVLF. You can find them all here.