Z was arrested at age 15 for armed robbery. He was not alleged to have touched a weapon or to have taken any items from anyone, but he was present during a robbery and was charged under conspiracy liability as an adult. He spent approximately 6 months in an adult jail pre-trial and then was sent to a juvenile placement for 5 months. Z remains on probation due to inability to pay for court costs, which are not waivable.
The Shift Fund's payment of Z's court costs allow him to get off of probation and move on with his life as a scholar and athlete.
Z is now 16 years old and back in the same high school in West Philadelphia where he was enrolled prior to his arrest. Z is an avid athlete--a standout basketball player and boxer in particular. He works as a youth advocate and is very close with his mother and two sisters. He plans to work at a recreation center in Philadelphia this summer.
Vis a single mother with 4 children who drives to her multiple jobs and to take her children to school and relatives’ homes for childcare, while she works. She has been driving on a suspended license (due to multiple parking tickets) and is at risk of losing her job without a means of transportation. She has been on a monthly payment plan, yet without child support, it is sometimes a question of $50 for food on the table or her ticket payment plan. Still, she has managed to pay over 70% of her fines through perseverance.
The Shift Fund's payment of V's remaining fees allow her to keep her driver’s license and current job, while pursuing better employment.
V can now reinstate her license and is using the monthly income she had been using to pay her license fees, to pursue a career in real estate. She plans to continue to provide for her four children and hopes to serve as a role model to them.
A is a 34 year old survivor of domestic violence. She is a single mother with two children, currently living in a shelter. Her youngest child suffers from a seizure disorder and living in a shelter has been a difficult environment for him. A has been working on affordable housing applications but does not have the funds to obtain birth certificates for her children, which are required for the application.
The Shift Fund's payment of A's birth certificate fees allow her to apply for affordable housing and find a stable living situation for her young children.
A is working with CLS to apply for food stamps, rental assistance, and seeking employment. As she recovers from trauma, she is grateful to provide a safe, supportive environment for her young children.
G is a 23-year-old who grew up without a family and transitioned in and out of the juvenile justice system for nonviolent offenses. She recently earned her GED and things seemed to be looking up until she was having lunch at a fast-food restaurant. In the midst of a loud argument with a friend, she was arrested for “disturbing the peace” and was released on a citation. The accompanying court fines were crippling to G as her job affords just enough to pay rent. If she does not pay the fine, she will end up behind bars and will likely lose her job. G thought of paying the fines instead of her rent because, in her opinion, it was better to be homeless with a job than in prison.
Shift’s payment of G’s fees means she stays out of prison and keeps her job.
G hopes to continue working and go to school this fall to pursue a career as an Automotive Technician.
H found herself homeless at age 16, in between foster homes. She looked for employment but lacked clothes to wear for interviews. She shoplifted from a local clothing store and despite completing community service, found herself with significant fines. H’s fines are not waivable and keep her from seeking employment.
Shift fund’s payment of H’s court fines allow her to continue pursuing her education and to seek employment with a clean record.
With help from the community, she is now back in foster care, school, and has been working as a youth advocate with a local community organization. She plans to finish high school this year, and to go to college, to one day become a lawyer to advocate for youth in the foster system.
T has worked for six years doing catering work through a staffing agency. Prior to that, she was a first-time offender for a minor offense and graduated from Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD), a pre-trial diversion program under which minor, first-time offenders can avoid jail time and qualify to have their record cleared after probation, paying off fines, and not getting into any other trouble.
After thinking her record had been cleared and successfully working for years, T was fired due to a positive background check the owners of her company conducted. She learned through a Community Legal Services (CLS) attorney that she owed <$500 of hidden court fines and costs. This meant her record was not cleared, despite all of the work she had put in to move forward in life. Since then, she has not been able to find another job due to her record, quickly went through her very limited savings, and is now in debt to a friend for back rent.
The Shift Fund's payment of T's fines allow her to have a clear record and have a job again. She is excited to be self-reliant again.
Bis a single mom of three children. Her young family’s income is just 24% of the federal poverty level. B is looking to apply for nursing school but cannot because of her record. Five years ago, she broke up a fight between family members and was included in the arrest when the police arrived. It is the only case on her record and yet <$500 court fines and fees prevent her from clearing her record and pursuing further education and better employment.
The Shift Fund's payment of B's remaining fees allow her to pursue nursing school and provide for her family.
Bo and her husband live with their two adult children with disabilities. Her husband works full-time so she is the primary caregiver. The family lives in a mobile home that was nearly condemned and are currently concerned for mold, but they do not have the income for an inspection or to consider moving. Bo is seeking employment to add to her husband's income but she must drive to work. She has accumulated $500 in traffic tickets and cannot use her license until they are paid.
The Shift Fund's payment of Bo's traffic tickets allow her to drive to work and provide for her children with special needs.