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But to Fatima, the Clinic isn’t just an excellent employer; she believes the work the Clinic does is absolutely pivotal to the community. “I think there’s a gap in the justice system. If you get in trouble and it’s a criminal issue, you’re entitled to a public defender,” she says. “If it’s a civil matter, you basically have no protection… It puts people in a vulnerable situation when they don’t have access to an attorney.” She stresses that these already-vulnerable situations are often compounded for people by their lack of specialized knowledge about issues like immigration law, paperwork, and unknown deadlines. She believes part of her purpose in life is to help walk people through this kind of information.
Audrey’s first in-person introduction to the Clinic was through volunteering during Refugee Adjustment Day (RAD Day) in October of 2015. On that day, she witnessed dozens of immigrants and volunteer attorneys and staff working together to submit paperwork to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to help refugees apply for their Legal Permanent Residence. On that day, Audrey remembers entertaining a Congolese woman’s three children, drawing pictures together while their mother worked with an attorney. By late afternoon, the woman’s paperwork was completed and her eyes filled with tears of joy. This experience especially convinced Audrey of the Clinic’s impact. She says, “Once these clients become more than just numbers, when they become faces, become names, when they are personalities that you come to know, it really changes the game. It makes it very personal, very urgent.”
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.
Five Things for Christians to Remember When Discussing Refugees: A Message from Executive Director Chris Purnell
As governors continue to erect legally questionable verbal barriers to their borders in the wake of the Paris terror tragedy, Christians need to remember their roots. In the midst of a rational fear, at best, and good old-fashioned xenophobia, at worst, Christians need to be constantly reminded of what Scripture tells us about vulnerable people and what the call of the Christian is. Here are five things I’ve been reminding myself of lately from my vantage point as the Executive Director of the Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic, as a husband and father, and as an elder of a church.
CURRENT NEEDS Below we have a few major needs, but they are relatively easy and only take a few moments of your time. We need all volunteers to track their […]
Last night the Clinic celebrated 20 years of service at the beautiful Indiana Landmarks Center. Our annual Justice for All Celebration was a memorable night with passionate speeches, a celebration […]
The Clinic’s first 6-hour CLE Seminar is this Friday. Sign up today for the Project GRACE CLE.
Volunteers, Students and Partners: Join us for a night of celebration, reflection and inspiration as we mark 20 years of service to the community. The Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic cordially […]