This past Thursday, we held our 3rd annual Jazz for Justice at the Jazz Kitchen. In addition to the delicious food, great music, and good company, there was also the chance to hear more about some of the people the Clinic has recently served--service that would not be possible without the support of our community and people like you. Executive Director Chris Purnell shared some important statistics with those in attendance at Jazz for Justice. Like how 101 immigrant victims of violent crime were able to get temporary status in 2015 with the help of the Clinic. Also in 2015, the Clinic helped save 490 families from foreclosure. The Center for Responsible Lending estimates that every foreclosure prevented results in $21,000 in real savings for a community. That’s $10,290,000 worth of savings for the community in just one year.
Of course, these numbers represent the lives of real people and Chris shared their stories during the evening as well. Like Cynthia's story. Cynthia is a woman who struggles in poverty, making decisions about which bills to pay that no one should have to make. She decided that she could no longer pay her car insurance—she had to pay rent instead. Eventually, she lost her license, which crippled her. She was severely hampered from getting to and from work, transporting her kids around, or running necessary errands. A Clinic attorney was able to advocate for her and get her $250 reinstatement fee waived so that she could get her driver’s license back. That $250 which had separated her from flourishing.
Chris then shared the story of Greg, a veteran struggling to put the pieces of his life back together, to continue on with his legal issues. Greg is homeless, and during a phone conversation with our tax attorney, he was inconsolable, and stated that he was ready to take his own life at that moment, and hung up. Our attorney contacted a local veteran’s organization, a strong partner of ours, and they were able to track him down and get him under a roof. The Clinic was then able to focus on what we do best: wrestle with the IRS on his behalf and get him out from under the crushing debt he had been carrying, Atlas-like, on his shoulders.
So, thank you for caring about justice. Thank you for providing safety, security, belonging, and development for the most vulnerable in our community. Thank you for believing, along with everyone at the Clinic. that all people deserve access to justice regardless of their income. Thank you for your hearts, which beat for justice, and for your resources, which make this work possible. Through your generosity, you quite literally save lives.
To learn more about how you can support the Clinic, please visit our website.