Dear Friend,

On Tuesday, May 5, Neighborhood Defender Service is participating in #GivingTuesdayNow, a global day of giving to meet the unprecedented challenges posed by COVID-19. Our clients are vulnerable in the best of times; facing a crisis, they need us more than ever. And we need you. Give to NDS today and make our indispensable work possible.

Our clients in Detroit and Harlem – two of the global epicenters of the pandemic – are at higher risk than anyone in the country. The virus has magnified the impact of inequality. Poor people, people of color and incarcerated people are getting sick and dying more often than any other groups. The past few weeks have been a toxic brew of systemic racism, gross inequality, and mass incarceration that has devastated our clients and their families. The situation demands nothing short of heroism.

NDS public defenders have been those heroes, giving the most vulnerable a fighting chance. We have shown the power of public defense.

Our staff spent the early days of the pandemic running into burning buildings – fighting in courtrooms that should have been closed days earlier and scheduling emergency visits with clients on Rikers, in the Wayne County Jail, and beyond. In the weeks that followed, we have leveled the playing field for the most vulnerable.

  • We have fought for justice in virtual courtrooms, rescuing people from some of the most dangerous places on Earth.
  • We have stood in the way of a vicious deportation machine.
  • We secured housing for those who faced insecurity.
  • We’ve kept families together where they’re safest.
  • We’ve made the case for our clients’ rights in the press.

This is hard work, and it’s heroic work. And it depends on your support to meet this enormous and growing need.

We are deeply grateful to have you join us in this fight.

Rick Jones
Executive Director, Neighborhood Defender Service