Donations to United Way’s Safe & Stable Homes initiative help families facing eviction access crucial legal representation.
In 2016, more than 13,000 evictions were filed in Milwaukee County. Of those individuals and families facing eviction, only 112 had legal representation in court.
Last year, the number of evictions rose to 14,000. However, the number of people with legal representation rose, too, thanks to the Eviction Defense Project.
“The Eviction Defense Project addresses the eviction crisis in Milwaukee by providing pro bono legal representation to people facing eviction in court,” said Raphael Ramos, an attorney with Legal Action of Wisconsin and director of the Eviction Defense Project.
“Before the project, individuals facing eviction with no lawyer were under duress, may have been unfamiliar with their rights, and may have signed whatever was put in front of them to make the situation go away,” continued Raphael.
Donations to United Way’s Safe & Stable Homes initiative support the Eviction Defense Project and other local programs working to end family homelessness in our community.
“Legal representation makes a huge difference. Now our clients have someone on their side during one of the most traumatic situations any family can experience - losing their home,” said Raphael.
Housing instability leads to negative outcomes for children in school, people seeking employment, management of chronic health conditions, and many other factors.
“Eviction is a societal problem that hits most dramatically and impactfully at a personal level, but it reverberates throughout our community,” said Raphael.
As a result of COVID-19, the Eviction Defense Project team is already seeing an uptick in the number of eviction cases filed. “We’ve always had a part of the population that has been at risk of eviction because of poverty,” said Raphael. “COVID-19 has pushed people normally not at risk of eviction into that category because of unemployment, furlough, and reduced hours. The need for representation is greater than it’s ever been.”
Your support will help end family homelessness in our community by supporting the Eviction Defense Project and other local programs: donate to United Way’s Safe & Stable Homes initiative today.