Georgia Law Center for the Homeless
What is the impact of a $100 donation to the Georgia Law Center for the Homeless? $100 can make all the difference for our clients, particularly those outside of the metro area. Clients from any county in Georgia are eligible for our services. In rural areas, if Georgia Legal Services cannot take a client’s case, we are often the only option.
We recently had a client who lost her lease in South Georgia. She could not find any temporary housing where she lived, and needed to move to an Atlanta shelter. Her teenage daughter still had two weeks remaining in the school year. “Meg” wanted her daughter to complete the school ear so that she would not have to repeat the grade. Unfortunately, neither her relatives nor the relatives of the father would agree to take her daughter for two weeks. The father lived several hours away in another county, so he was not an option.
Fortunately, the family of her daughter’s best friend agreed to take the daughter in for the final two weeks of school. Meg told everyone where her daughter was staying, including the school, and moved to a shelter in Atlanta. The father then filed an emergency custody action in superior court, claiming that Meg had abandoned her daughter. He was awarded custody with no notice to Meg in an ex-parte order. The court failed to consider that the father originally was not given custody due to child cruelty charges. Meg went to pick her daughter up on the last day of school and was shocked when presented with a copy of the order stating that she had lost custody.
Meg came into our office for help. She wanted her daughter back. While we serve the entire state, serving clients outside of metro-Atlanta is very expensive when mileage must be paid. Meg’s case was at risk for not being accepted because of geography. The father had clearly lied to the court, and tricked a judge into granting the ex-parte custody order. Yet, the cost of transportation to the county where the order had been filed represented a significant hurdle to acceptance of her case.
Thanks to generous donations, often $100 or less, we were able to represent Meg, and can represent others like her. After filing an appearance, and an appropriate motion, the order granting the father custody was set aside. We secured an order for the police to accompany Meg to pick up her daughter at the father’s house. She now lives happily with her daughter in Atlanta. Meg visited our office with her daughter to express her gratitude, and we have no doubt that both of their lives were changed thanks to the donations of others to our organization.
Your gifts enable us to change lives, and to take cases with merit wherever they may arise. Our practice is a broad-based civil practice that includes family law, housing law, benefits law, and general civil litigation for homeless clients.