Sarasota, FL – Single mothers and people of color have been hit hardest during the COVID-19 pandemic. A PEW study estimated that 5.7 million women lost jobs in the last year versus just over three million men, with women of color experiencing heightened impact as they face both a gender and racial wealth gap. All single parents had to make hard decisions between finding childcare and working during the pandemic, but the bulk of those impacted were women: of the approximately 13.6 million single parents in the U.S., eighty percent are single mothers. Many will encounter long-term economic consequences from pandemic related job losses or reduced income.
Gulfcoast Legal Services (GLS) recently received funding from Community Foundation of Sarasota County through their Equity and Access grant program to address some of these issues. The grant will provide funding for vulnerable individuals in Sarasota County to receive free civil legal aid to address a myriad of financial stability issues such as medical bills, illegal repossessions, creditor harassment, social security, and more. Single mothers and people of color will be prioritized for services.
“Having an attorney in your corner when you face financial issues is a huge relief. If a single mother is struggling to make ends meet, she likely cannot afford an attorney. Legal aid is a critical social service to help vulnerable individuals to fight unfair creditor practices. Justice should be accessible to everyone in our community.” – Tammy Greer, Chief Executive Officer
Vulnerable groups are more likely to face financial inequality and discrimination in America. In addition, those living in poverty are less likely to be fully banked and more likely to use predatory financial services. Free civil legal aid helps these individuals break free from debt and become financially stable.
The GLS mission is to provide access to justice for all individuals, especially those who have been systemically disenfranchised. For more information, or to see if you are eligible for services, visit the GLS website at www.gulfcoastlegal.org.
About Gulfcoast Legal Services
Gulfcoast Legal Services, Inc. (GLS) is a regional 501(c)3 non-profit organization providing free, comprehensive civil legal aid through counsel, advice, representation, advocacy, and education for vulnerable individuals and families in the greater Tampa Bay area. GLS is dedicated to serving vulnerable individuals living in poverty, low-wage workers, persons with disabilities, veterans, the homeless, victims of domestic violence or human trafficking, the LGBTQ+ community, and the elderly who otherwise may not have access to an attorney. For more information, visit: http://gulfcoastlegal.org.
About the Community Foundation of Sarasota County
The Community Foundation of Sarasota County is a public charity founded in 1979 by the Southwest Florida Estate Planning Council as a resource for caring individuals and the causes they support, enabling them to make a charitable impact on the community. With assets of $421 million in more than 1,500 charitable funds, the Community Foundation awarded grants and scholarships totaling $48.9 million dollars last year in the areas of education, the arts, health and human services, civic engagement, animal welfare and the environment. Since its founding, the Community Foundation has been able to grant more than $323 million to area nonprofit organizations to our community thanks to the generosity of charitable individuals, families, and businesses. For more information, visit www.CFSarasota.org or call (941) 955-3000.