This has been a hard two months for all of us. The health and economic impacts of this crisis are felt acutely by our clients, most of whom cannot access traditional help. For some, not working leads to difficulties in maintaining their mental health. For others, the added stress has pushed families to the breaking point – we’ve been getting more and more questions about divorce, child custody, and guardianships.
We also love meeting with our clients in person! It doesn’t feel right to not be out there in the community. Online consultations allow us to adapt to continue helping people. Still, it’s not the same as being able to hear our clients’ stories in person.
We are expanding online consultations
So that we can work with more people during the week, we have restructured our sign-ups for online consultations. We can now accommodate up to four appointments, Monday through Friday. This should allow more people to find a time to talk to us that works for them.
We continue to talk to people via video over WhatsApp, Facetime, Hangouts, Facebook Messenger, or Zoom. We can also do a voice-only phone call if needed.
When will the walk-in legal clinics reopen?
This question is foremost on our minds as we badly want a return to normal. We are committed to doing all we can to safeguard the health of our clients, volunteers, staff, and community. Any decision to reopen in-person clinics will be made in conjunction with guidance from local and federal authorities and in conjunction with our partners. We’re in conversation with them, and we are all taking this a day at a time. We will not reopen the clinics until we are sure that we a great plan to keep everyone as safe as possible.
So, the short answer is that we do not expect to return in the month of May and may be closed through June as well. When we do come back, the clinics may look and operate differently. If you have a legal need, please don’t wait, sign up for an online consultation.
The Southwest Detroit Immigrant and Refugee Center provides free and low-cost legal services to those who need them most in the Detroit area, with a focus on recent immigrants and refugees.
We were founded in 2014 by Kevin Piecuch, our Executive Director