| Dec 1, 2020
Unexpected ways pandemic can affect poor in Geogia
We have reported before on the extreme economic hardship that the pandemic has brought to our city. Recently, we have also been in a position to help a man facing prison and a fine he could not afford because of covid. Our legal service for homeless and vulnerable people was able to save a family from ruin.
It all started when Demetre’s pregnant wife got toothache one evening during the Covid curfew (from 9pm to 6am at the time). They rang the doctor and discovered that she needed a painkiller that they didn’t have at home. Demetre popped out to the pharmacy.
On his way home, Demetre saw police. He hid between two parked cars. The owner was on a nearby balcony, thought Demetre was trying to rob his car and started shouting. Demetre panicked and ran away. The police caught him and tried to arrest him. He tried to explain, but it seemed like his word against the car owners. Again he tried to escape. Eventually, he was arrested for breaking the curfew, attempted theft and resisting arrest. Demetre was facing 3 years in prison and a fine of 300 Lari (approx $900/ £700).
Fortunately, our lawyer was able to turn the story around. First, they requested the car be fingerprinted, which showed no evidence that Demetre had touched the car. The charge of attempted theft was removed. Then the doctor confirmed the phone call, and the pharmacy CCTV and receipt further corroborated Demetre’s story. The fact remained that Demetre had broken the curfew and he was given a fine he could not pay. Our intervention meant that this was reduced to a verbal warning in the end, much to the relief of Demetre and his wife.
This is just one of the extra challenges we are facing because of the pandemic. We are facing increased need in our community just at a time when our income from our social businesses has been halved. We are so grateful to all your support. If you'd like to help us get through and recover from this community in 2021, do give today. The wonderful people at GlobalGiving are adding a bonus to every donation made today, Giving Tuesday. It's a great chance to make your gift go further.
Thank you in advance!