DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – A lawyer who slept outdoors in Detroit for more than three weeks says she’s going back indoors after raising more than $18,000 to help represent poor people.
Wayne County’s chief judge, Robert Colombo Jr., read about Lisa Walinske and delivered a $500 check Friday. He praised Walinske’s work in an interview with the Detroit Free Press and called her “amazing.”
Walinske had been sleeping in a hut made from scrap wood, tarps and other materials since Nov. 21. A sign said, “Campout for Justice.” She wanted to raise at least $18,500 for her nonprofit law firm.
Walinske says people in the Detroit east side neighborhood “need legal justice” and can’t afford a lawyer. She plans to offer classes on knowing your rights as well as environmental law.
In addition to the donations, Walinske tells WWJ that she experienced an abundance of kindness and generosity from people in and around the area.
Anthony, a man in the neighborhood, brought hot chili and soups on the coldest nights. A man recently released from prison brought her some of his books to read — other strangers brought food or wood for the fire. Some made regular checks on her safety.
“I was surprised by the random acts of kindness of many strangers,” says Walinske. “It’s not what you’d expect on the streets of Detroit, but there was a lot of love and support in the community.”
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