Georgia Bar Journal
GSB Vol. 13, NO. 4, Pg. 46.
Georgia Bar Foundation Awards $6.6 Million
GSB JournalVol. 13, NO. 4December 2007Georgia Bar FoundationAwards $6.6 MillionLen HortonThe Georgia Bar Foundation awarded 69 organizations $6.6 million in grants at its annual grant decisions meeting at the Bar Center in September. Records were set in both the number of organizations receiving awards and the total amount of the grants awarded.
"The near doubling of applications and the more than doubling last year's total amount requested made this meeting challenging," said Joe Brannen, president of the Georgia Bar Foundation. "We met the challenge and funded a large number of vital organizations working to help solve many of Georgia's most pressing problems."
Seventeen organizations received grant awards totaling $3,882,300 to provide civil legal assistance to the poor. Atlanta Legal Aid Society and Georgia Legal Services Program together received $3 million. This was 100 percent of their request and the largest amount ever awarded by the Georgia Bar Foundation.
A number of other organizations that benefit from grants focus on civil legal assistance to women and children in domestic shelters throughout the state. The Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence received $150,000 to handle divorce, custody, visitation, support, and some temporary protective orders not handled by Atlanta Legal Aid and Georgia Legal Services.
Also, the Northeast Georgia Council on Domestic Violence, which supports five different domestic shelters in northeast Georgia, received $45,000. Additional grantees providing domestic violence assistance included the Columbus Alliance for Battered Women ($15,000), Savannah Family Emergency Shelter ($30,000), the Liberty House of Albany ($22,000), Halcyon Home in Thomasville ($10,000), Safe Haven in Statesboro ($10,000) and Flint Circuit Council on Family Violence ($15,000).
To increase the number of lawyers volunteering to provide assistance, the Pro Bono Project co-sponsored by the Georgia Legal Services Program and the State Bar of Georgia received $100,000. The Georgia Law Center for the Homeless, which has become a major force dealing with a statewide problem, received $60,000. The Law and Public Service Program of Mercer University School of Law received $38,300 to fund a practitioner in residence to work with law students assisting clients. Under the able supervision of Professor Tim Floyd, this new program has already created a fine reputation for itself.
Diakonia Christian Legal Services received $10,000 to support non-litigation civil legal services to low-income Georgians near Athens.
GreenLaw, the new name of the Georgia Center for Law in the Public Interest, received $75,000 for operating support of their legal services to low-income, minority citizens needing protection from inequitable and often illegal siting and operating industrial facilities. This organization is spearheaded by Justine Thompson.
Several organizations received awards for their civil legal work to assist immigrants, some of whom are seeking asylum in the United States. The Refugee Resettlement and Immigration Services of Atlanta received $50,000 to support two positions to handle immigration and asylum cases but also to train volunteer attorneys to be able to handle immigrant cases.
The Latin American Association received $50,000 to provide civil legal assistance to low-income Latino immigrants. The Detention Project of Catholic Social Services received $45,000 to assist Latino detainees and to train...