EAST TENNESSEE: Knoxville
VIDA's first planned project will serve immigrants in East Tennessee. We have been approved to serve as a host site for an Equal Justice Works justice AmeriCorps fellow beginning June 1, 2016. The Fellow will focus on representing unaccompanied children in removal proceedings who meet certain eligibility criteria. Our volunteers will supplement her work in order to fulfill our mission of expanding access to quality pro bono representiation to underserved at-risk immigrants in East Tennessee.
East Tennessee: Knoxville
2108 Keller Bend Road
Knoxville, TN 37922
(865) 410-VIDA (8432)
East Tennessee, particularly Knox and surrounding counties, is home to a large immigrant population, including indigenous Central American communities with special language needs. Individuals in East Tennessee who are in removal proceedings, including unaccompanied children, must appear in court in Memphis, six or more hours away.
Immigrant assistance organizations in the area provide a variety of services, but individuals requiring certain types of assistance, particularly representation in court, may need to travel four hours or more in order to find pro bono legal assistance. This presents a significant hurdle for persons who are unfamiliar with the region and who may not understand their legal needs.
VIDA wishes to build upon existing services provided by private attorneys and community organizations and fill gaps in available legal assistance.
VIDA intends to replicate its East Tennessee model in other underserved areas where large immigrant populations live. VIDA's board will review various locations and assess the cost and feasibility of establishing additional offices in the future. Please visit this page again in the future to learn more about future VIDA projects.