you can help bring peace to our community
You ‘get’ it.
You know the difference that mediation makes for people who want a constructive way to resolve their conflict.
You know how mediation lets each person feel heard, identify their interests, and work towards a sustainable resolution.
You know how mediation can repair relationships and address emotional issues in a way that cannot be done by litigation.
But do you know that we need your support? MetroWest Mediation Services relies on your donation to sustain our work in the community and courts. 95% of all our mediations are conducted free of charge. In this difficult funding environment, donations – of any size – are critical.
Your support makes it possible to continue mediating for people like Jessica*. When Jessica received the eviction notice, she was terrified. She worried where she and her six year old son, Michael, would live. She was also confused – why was she getting an eviction notice when she paid her rent on time and in full?
She came to court full of questions and concerns about what would happen when her case was heard. When Jessica heard the clerk explain that mediation offered a chance to speak to her landlord with the help of a neutral third party, she jumped at the opportunity.
The mediators put her at ease as they explained that the parties were in control of the outcome in the mediation and that they were going to facilitate a conversation between her and the landlord.
She listened intently as the landlord explained that there were reports from neighbors that Jessica’s husband, who had failed a criminal background check and was therefore barred from living in the MassHousing apartment, had been staying there. Complaints of noise disturbances and fighting, plus the violation of her husband occupying the residence, led to the eviction notice.
When it was Jessica’s turn to speak, she poured out her story: Yes, the husband had been at the apartment. But it was only because her son, who has autism, gets home behavioral counseling and the husband needs to be there to support him. Yes, there had been fighting and yelling but her husband was a veteran struggling with PTSD. But he was getting treatment and working through his anger issues.
She felt deeply heard as the mediator summarized what she said, giving her a chance to calm down and listen more to the other side. With the mediators’ assistance, she and the landlord worked out an agreement that she and Michael could stay in the apartment for one more year and that her husband had to leave the apartment before 7PM on the days of Michael’s counseling.
She had entered the courthouse shaking with fear but thanks to mediation, Jessica left with a deep sense of relief. She still had a home.
I think you’ll agree that providing mediation services, free of charge, to people like Jessica is vitally important. MetroWest Mediation Services is the only court-approved program mediating in the Framingham, Marlborough, and Natick District Courts and the only program offering small claims and summary process mediation in the Concord District Court.
Here is what people like Jessica had to say about their mediation experience:
"We had many moving pieces, the mediators kept track and helped us get through it all. They made an emotional, hard, complex process relatively easy. Thank you."
"Mediation is much more “humanized” than going before a judge. We were able to connect with the human factor. Please do mediation 100%."
" A great help!! Much more civilized than the courtroom."
Jessica’s story is just one of many. In the last year, our staff and volunteer mediators:
- Attended 330 court sessions of small claims and summary process (landlord/tenant)
- Educated more than 2,500 MetroWest residents about mediation
- Mediated 275 cases (in the courts and community)
- Offered 95% of mediations, free of charge, for the parties.
- Helped over 750 people resolve conflict in a constructive, non-adversarial manner.
You can help MetroWest Mediation continue to offer mediation in district courts and to offer low-cost divorce, elder and community mediation before it reaches the legal system. Please make a donation today to sustain these critically important conflict resolution services.
Your generosity will let us bring mediation to more people in our community. In the coming year, MetroWest Mediation Services is actively seeking to launch on-site mediation programs in the Middlesex Juvenile Court and Probate & Family Court to give youth and families the option to mediate, instead of litigate, on their trial dates.
We need your help to make this possible.
Your support means so much to the MetroWest Mediation Services board, staff, volunteers and to everyone whose lives have been improved because of mediation.
Robert H. Smith,
President, Board of Directors