The impact of the novel coronavirus on the communities we serve is just beginning to surface, and we know that, for people living in poverty, the worst is yet to come. In order to meet the growing needs of our communities, I need your financial support and urge you to make a donation today.
A recent study by UCLA’s Luskin Institute predicts a “tsunami of evictions” that will begin as soon as the moratoriums are lifted. It estimates that 365,000 households in Los Angeles have been unable to pay their rent because they lost their jobs in the last two months, and there is little in the way of a plan to prevent them from joining the ranks of Los Angeles’ 60,000 homeless people.
These are our clients, and they are looking to the future with dread, uncertain of how they will keep a roof over their children’s heads, or keep food on the table.
That’s why NLSLA has been hard at work not just addressing the needs our clients are presenting right now, but also planning for the months ahead. We are ramping up advocacy efforts in areas of unemployment, housing, and healthcare – gearing up to increase the number of individuals we serve as we engage in systemic advocacy to push for extended protections.
Our unemployment work is rapidly expanding as more and more people seek our assistance in navigating unemployment benefits. To meet the need, we are providing individuals support, reaching out to partners, and hosting virtual clinics to provide technical and educational assistance to help members of our community access crucial unemployment benefits so they can stay afloat during these uncertain times. We are continuing to represent tenants who are threatened with unlawful evictions, despite the moratoriums, and are preparing to help tenants stay housed when the moratoriums are lifted.
We are encouraged in this work by the chants of demonstrators in the streets, who are calling for an end to the systemic racism that has plagued our country and our institutions, and has led directly to the disparities we see at NLSLA every day – disparities that have become heartbreakingly apparent since the virus arrived. We hear their calls for change in the work that we do for our clients, and in the work we must still do in all areas of our lives. Our staff is participating in facilitated conversations on racism and privilege to better understand how these issues impact our work, and we are creating a new attorney position that will focus on racial justice, so that we can more directly tackle the role of race in the entrenched inequalities we have been fighting.
We are working hard to raise money for these vital programs, and we cannot do this work without your help. Please consider making a contribution.
Yvonne Mariajimenez, President & CEO