Dear clients, volunteers, and other supporters:
We hope this note finds you and your loved ones healthy and well.
We are writing to provide an update on Philadelphia VIP’s activities amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Our priority, as ever, is the health and safety of our community – including staff, clients, and volunteers.
- Ongoing operations: Consistent with guidance from local and state government, our offices have closed and our team is working remotely. We are just an email or phone call away, and staff are working during normal business hours. Contact information for team members is available on our website, and you can reach us by phone by dialing the main office number (215-523-9550).
- Trainings and events: We are adapting our scheduled trainings and events to be conducted by phone or video-conference, when feasible. Please check the events page on our website for the most up-to-date information.
- Court operations: Most of the Philadelphia court system will be closed at least until April 3, 2020. This means that most hearings scheduled from now until April 6, when the courts will allegedly open, will be rescheduled. The notice from the court states: “We will be contacting parties who are scheduled to appear in court during this period to inform them of any scheduling changes.” At this time, no dates have been set for rescheduled hearings. We are asking volunteer attorneys to contact their clients who have hearings scheduled between now and the end of March to share this important update. Volunteers should check the court docket in the coming days for rescheduled dates and ask clients to let them know immediately If they receive anything from the court.
- Need for support: As the ripple effects of the pandemic hit our client community, we anticipate a major uptick in need for legal assistance. If you are an attorney who has capacity to volunteer, please contact us now. We have cases in need of representation now, and we are eager to stay connected about your pro bono availability over the coming weeks and months.
We’re in this together and now, more than ever, we are grateful for VIP’s community of volunteers, supporters, and clients.
This post was originally published on March 13, 2020 and will be updated routinely