GAIN’s COVID-19 Response
A Message from Monica:
As you know, this pandemic is unprecedented for us all and so much is changing on what feels like a minute-to-minute basis. At GAIN, we are the most concerned about the clients we serve and the ones we have yet to serve. Our clients need us during these difficult times, and we will continue to work tirelessly to make sure that they will not be denied access to services.
Read on to learn more about GAIN’s response efforts and how you can help. We are all in this together!
Our Response During the Pandemic
At this time, the GAIN staff is working remotely and practicing social distancing. We are committed to our mission of providing free immigration legal services to victims of crime and persecution, and to providing the services our clients and volunteer attorneys deserve. Our clients’ needs won’t stop and neither will we. GAIN is adjusting our work and moving forward:
- We are reaching out to our clients. GAIN staff is meeting with our clients by phone and video in order to help them and understand their needs.
- We are updating our volunteer attorneys. Our legal team is sending emails on a regular basis to give coronavirus response updates and keep our pro bono partners abreast of changes in immigration court proceedings and closures, as well as other legal resources for our clients.
- We are continuing to meet our clients legal needs. Immigration agencies are still in operation, and our legal team is conducting virtual advice & counsel sessions, screening cases, and filing for critical humanitarian relief for our clients.
- We are helping our clients access social and legal services. Our Navigators have seen an increase in the needs of our clients, many of whom are particularly hard-hit by the COVID-19 crisis. Immigrants like our clients face particularly difficult situations right now, and they especially need access to safe transportation and help with their rent and groceries.
- We are innovating. GAIN is adapting and responding. In partnership with our Board of Directors, our funders, and our community, we are solidifying plans for new and enhanced ways to help our clients, communicate with our attorneys, and even create virtual volunteering opportunities.
- And of course, we’re accepting new cases. GAIN is conducting intakes and taking case referrals so that immigrant victims of crime and persecution don’t have to wonder where to turn. We are here to help.
The Client Empowerment Fund
At GAIN, we know that our clients have needs beyond their immigration case. Clients may have transportation issues, require specialist interpreters, or have emergency housing or mental health needs. That’s why GAIN has created our Client Empowerment Fund.
Our clients, who are immigrant victims of crime and persecution, are particularly vulnerable to the loss of work many have experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic. They also experience specific barriers, including fear of deportation, and lack of access many services, including financial relief, health care options, and more. Currently, our clients desperately need help with rent and utilities, groceries, and safe transportation options.
At GAIN, thanks to the generosity of funders like the Greater Atlanta COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund, Ormewood Church, local foundations, and donors like you, we were able to launch our fund and begin providing assistance to our clients in need. However, the needs of our clients are only increasing as the crisis wears on. Non-citizen and mixed-status immigrant families have been largely left out of federal relief programs, and the widespread need for relief has caused some assistance funds to dry up. With the recent surge in infections and new layoffs across Georgia, our clients need both legal help and emergency assistance now.
How You Can Help
Donations to GAIN are critically important. Please consider a monthly or one-time gift to ensure that immigrant victims of crime and persecution are able to access the services they need to rebuild their lives after abuse. Sustain GAIN’s ongoing work with a monthly or one-time donation, or give a one-time gift to help build our client empowerment fund.
We are also seeking new and returning volunteer attorneys to represent GAIN’s clients. For more information on volunteering, email firstname.lastname@example.org.