In Partnership with the Campaign to End Debtor’s Prison (CEDP)
Many individuals are unable to pay off or pay down court fines and fees.
This creates barriers that prevent them from being self-sufficient. These individuals do not have the financial stability to pay a financial burden that accompanies an infraction, violation, or misdemeanor. When such a financial obligation occurs and goes unpaid, it can often result in an increase of fines, a loss of one’s driver’s license and state ID, or even a warrant for one’s arrest. Without an ID, for example, you are not able to apply for state benefits, a job, or sign a lease of any kind. This often causes a spiraling effect leading one to homelessness due to a lack of ability to solve the core problem of an unpaid fine.
To assist individuals who currently are unable to afford to pay off their court-issued fines in order to minimize homelessness in New Castle County.
FH and CEDP want to break the cycle of homelessness caused by a court-issued fine to a person living in poverty. Many people can be crippled with unpaid fines and fees issued by a court. Most Americans do not have the financial capability to pay off an unplanned financial obligation. We are seeking to ease this burden and enable these individuals to lift a significant barrier in their way from seeking a self-sufficient living.
FH and CEDP have taken the initiative to create a fund for people affected by fines and fees.
We will do this in partnership with the Campaign to End Debtor’s Prison in Delaware, a group of advocates that are working towards legal change. The funding will be used to pay off an entire fee or to pay partial down payments allowing the individual to start a monthly payment plan with the court. FH will use its current financial assistance process which includes verifying the amount due, confirming the payment will in fact improve the person’s situation and budget with the person to ensure they can maintain the monthly payments when a payment arrangement has been made. When needed, once a fine or fee has been paid, FH will then work with the person to obtain the person’s state identification, assist them with their job search, and help reintegrate that person back to self-sufficient living.
Check Donations: Please include your designation request with your check. The check can be made out to Friendship House, Inc. and mailed to P.O. Box 1517 Wilmington, DE 19899.