Stand with Pisgah Legal and urge Buncombe County Commissioners
to fund essential programs

We need your help! If you are a resident of Buncombe County, the staff and Board of Pisgah Legal Services (PLS) urge you to contact Buncombe County commissioners to ask them to provide funding to PLS to help very low-income people recover from the adverse impacts of the pandemic and to improve their lives and the lives of their children.

Buncombe County Commissioners are making decisions on how to allocate part of the $50 million in federal COVID Recovery Funding provided by the American Relief Plan Act (ARPA). They allocated the initial round of funds in August. You can see their investments as of 8/31/21 here. The Commissioners have indicated that there will be an additional round of “rolling awards” later this year, as well as additional community engagement prior to that award round. In response to the County’s initial request for proposals, Pisgah Legal collaborated with other local nonprofits and submitted applications for funding to support homelessness prevention and protect victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse.

How to Help
There are two ways to use your voice in support of Pisgah Legal:

  • Attend and speak at one of three upcoming Public Input Sessions hosted by the Commissioners- Details below
  • Email or Call the Commissioners, using the sample script provided below or adapting it to use your own words. Contact info can be found at the bottom of this email.
Attend an Input Session on Funding Priorities 
The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners want to hear the community’s thoughts on funding priorities before they vote on the next round of spending in the $50 million American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) COVID-19 relief. There will be a public input session hosted by County Commissioners for each district. Community members can attend any meeting they choose, regardless of district.

  • Monday, September 27 from 4 PM-5:30 PM Public Input Session for Buncombe County District 2/3 with Live Spanish Interpretation. Join the meeting here: or the Facebook Event Link
    Panelists: Brownie Newman, Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, Parker Sloan
  • Tuesday, September 28 from 6 PM-7:30 PM
    Public Input Session for Buncombe County District 2/3 with Live Spanish Interpretation Join the meeting here: or the Facebook Event Link
    Panelists: Brownie Newman, Robert Pressley, Amanda Edwards

Sample script to email or call Buncombe County Commissioners:
Dear Commissioner,

My name is ________________________ and I live in Buncombe County. I am writing to ask the Buncombe County Commissioners to approve Pisgah Legal’s requests for COVID relief funds to support their vital homelessness prevention and domestic violence prevention programs.

Last year, Pisgah Legal impacted more than 11,000 people in Buncombe County and the need for their services is expected to increase significantly in the coming year.

Pisgah Legal’s Homelessness Prevention Program provides free civil legal assistance to help low-income individuals and families avoid homelessness by preventing unnecessary or unwarranted evictions. Evictions have devastating social and economic ripple effects on individuals and families, especially children as they can disrupt schooling and inflict emotional trauma.

As the eviction moratorium is no longer in effect and the affordable housing crisis worsens, thousands in our community face dislocation and homelessness. Making matters worse, PLS has foundation grants expiring for this work at this unfortunate period. Funding legal services to prevent unnecessary evictions and foreclosures should be a high priority for using American Rescue Plan Act funds.

Pisgah Legal is also requesting assistance from Buncombe County to help bridge the $1.2 million two-year funding gap caused by a loss in Victims of Crime Act funding. This funding cut occurs on October 1, 2021. This funding enables their attorneys to take legal action so that survivors of domestic violence, child abuse, and sexual assault can escape abuse and rebuild their lives. Legal aid is an essential tool in the toolbox of domestic violence prevention as people who cannot afford an attorney suffer greater harm because they have much more difficulty separating their lives from their abusers. According to the United Nations, all types of violence against women and girls, particularly domestic violence, has intensified since the outbreak of COVID-19, a phenomenon called the “Shadow Pandemic.”

Beyond the pandemic, domestic violence and child abuse prevention programs, like Pisgah Legal’s, are critical in interrupting multigenerational trauma and ensuring that the cycle of violence is broken. According to the Urban Child Institute, children witnessing domestic violence carry a lifelong burden that manifests as developmental delays and serious health issues as well as an increased likelihood in living in violent relationships themselves, whether as victims or as perpetrators.

Pisgah Legal provides free legal aid that is key for our community to emerge from the pandemic a stronger and more equitable place for generations to come. I urge you to approve Pisgah Legal’s funding applications.

County Commissioners Contact Information

Brownie Newman – Chairman
Phone: (828) 243-0107
Email: [email protected]

Al Whitesides – District 1
Phone: (828) 250-4006
Email: [email protected]

Terri Wells – District 1
Phone: (828) 250-4008
Email: [email protected]

Jasmine Beach-Ferrara – District 1
Phone: (828) 250-4004
Email: [email protected]

Amanda Edwards – District 2
Phone: (828) 250-4005
Email: [email protected]

Parker Sloan – District 3
Phone: (828) 250-4007
Email: [email protected],

Robert Pressley – District 3
Phone: (828) 215-2077
Email: [email protected]

You can also use the form on the County’s website to contact all of the Commissioners with one message: