Organizers Tips, Questions and Brainstorms for LOCAL DEBT CLINICS

Hi there,
this is a space where we can talk about the processes of launching local community debt clinics.

So far we have clinics going in New Orleans.
And now new chapters, and other organization are asking ways to launch.

Join us here to share updates, ask questions, or support others interested in using the tools.

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@Ryan

I am going to loop a few other people into this space so we can test out a group chat on clinics.

Let me know if you access this thread okay.

Thanks

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@AndrewWilliam Hi there,
Let me know if you get this.

Hey! Myself and two other STL activists are ready to do an online training this Sunday at 6:30 central time!

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Great. Let’s be sure to have them create an account. then we can add them into this space too.

I will get another Sunday training set up and get back to you via email.

@AndrewWilliam and @RickyGaona Welcome to the debt clinic space.

I want to introduce you all to @Ryan. He is leading up the Debt Clinics in New Orleans.

I think we should all get on a call sometime in August and chat.

Meantime, we can all share and chat it out here.

If you have other people you think should be on this thread. Ask them to join the platform and give you their user name. Then @Callthembyname here and loop them in.

Also,
If you set your settings to Watching, you will get better notifications when someone else posts.

@Generic_disputer looping you in too.

@KenyonJMlooping you in

Hey, gang!

I’m meeting with some St. Louis activists this evening to brainstorm for our first clinic. Any input from y’all would be great!

I think we’re going to focus on:

  1. Events/locations that we could table at.

  2. Where and how to canvas ahead of time.

  3. How to conduct follow up.

For point 3, how do you all do it after a clinic? I assume you have an email address and/or a VOIP voicemail box?

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We’re looking into tabling at some local festivals this fall. The applications for non-for-profit booths require a copy of the organization’s 501c3 letter. Is Debt Collective a 501c3? If so, can we use a copy of the your letter, or will we have to create our own organization and obtain our own?

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really good questions.
I will get back to you on this.

@frances_gill @Ryan

When you all have a copy of your Healthfare manual available. Will you post it here for us?

It would be a really great resource for the chapters discussing their next steps.

okay folks, :loudspeaker:

there is an upcoming tools training on WEDNESDAY 10AM PST

IF YOU CAN JOIN THIS, LET ME KNOW AND i WILL LOOP YOU INTO THE GHO.
@kaorik

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Welcome Andrew! Thanks for your work.

@eliaht1893 How did the Debt Clinic go in Detroit?
Feel free to post an update and pictures.

New Orleans DSA has a clinic this weekend. And L.A. will have an event on the 28th.

Thanks folks for sharing this important work in your communities :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

@BlairM @Ryan
Are you all feeling good about the clinic this weekend?
I will be supporting you remotely.

Hello! Our event was a smash hit. Our main organizer, Paige Hughart, is a major badass so we had tons of community partners/resources there. So, in addition to the debt clinic, we had free food, health screenings, Medicaid sign-up, housing information, etc.

I took the lead on the Debt Clinic and had tons of support from Thomas (I’d @ him but I don’t know his username). I directly helped one woman fight two of her debts which were, of course, incurred by people taking advantage/charging huge interest rates.

Beyond that, I had several productive conversations with people about their debt and walked them through our process/what they had to do to follow-up. It was a little disheartening at first because people are so used to being swindled they asked things like: “What’s the catch?” or “What does this service cost?” I’d keep having to say: “Nothing! We’re socialists and we think these financial institutions are evil. We want to use their own language against them to benefit working people.” Once I explained, the conversation definitely took a more positive turn. One couple even said: “I guess we’re socialists, too.”

At the event, I had several people ask if I could come, just me, to their community space/church to help folks out with debt relief. I told them we’d be doing the event bi-monthly but I also gave them my contact information, and I’m hoping to build some more contacts/do smaller debt clinics throughout Detroit.

Honestly, this was one of my proudest moments as an activist. The event was well-planned, well-attended and actually served the community in a meaningful way. I’m looking forward to continuing my work with the Debt Collective. Thank you so much for this tool and this community.

I’ve also attached some pictures from the event, please see below!

Solidarity,
Elia H-T

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