These last few days have brought into focus the magnitude of the threat we are facing. Our city, state, and federal governments have taken drastic steps to try and save human lives and prevent this virus from exacting an unbearable toll on our communities. All Californians have now been ordered to stay at home, and all nonessential work has ground to a halt.
But NLSLA will continue to serve people living on the margins, who will need us in the weeks and months ahead more than ever before. We have spent the last few days changing the way we work so that we can serve vulnerable people without endangering their health or the health of our dedicated advocates.
The communities we serve will be the hardest hit by this pandemic—they are the first to feel the impact of job losses and health crises. They have no resources to fall back on during this dangerous time, and their access to food, shelter and health care was precarious long before the virus arrived. Some measures are emerging to try and protect this population, such as a moratorium on evictions, but without legal advocacy, these efforts will not protect those people who need them most.
Legal services are essential in times like these, and so we are mounting an incredible effort to adapt our services and prepare for what’s ahead. We are moving forward on all fronts – helping individual clients while advocating on the policy level to ensure people living in poverty have access to the shelter, food, and care they need in these trying times.
Everyone at NLSLA has been diligently working to ensure that our two toll-free numbers can handle the increase in calls; that our Self-Help centers located in five courthouses are able to serve clients remotely; and that all our advocates are able to access the technology and resources they need to continue to serve their clients.
None of this work would be possible without your generous support and we need your help more than ever to be able to serve vulnerable Angelenos at this challenging time. If you have not already done so, please consider making a special contribution to help us continue to fight for the people who need it most.
Thank you for supporting us, and for making it possible for us to be there for the people who need us. We will get through this crisis, and we will do it by taking care of each other.
Yvonne Mariajimenez, President & CEO