The ACLU of Georgia and ACLU Disability Rights Project have filed an administrative complaint with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development charging that Cumming Home Ministries, a Christian transitional housing shelter, violated the federal Fair Housing Act when it denied housing to Jeremy Jay Woody, 47, simply because he is deaf. The federal Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing on the basis of disability. Cumming Home Ministries’ homepage states that it has been “Serving Men Needing Transitional Housing since 2010.”

On September 14, the ACLU submitted a letter to Cumming Home Ministries urging it to reconsider their position on refusing shelter to Woody, who was recently released from prison, paid his debt to society, and is eager to turn his life around. In the letter, the ACLU offered Cumming Home Ministries resources to provide them tools for working with deaf clients. Cumming Home Ministries refused.  

On September 22, the ACLU filed an administrative complaint asking the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to intervene on behalf of Woody.

“We are waiting patiently for the federal government to intervene and investigate Cumming Home Ministries for refusing shelter to our client simply because he is deaf.” stated Sean J. Young, Legal Director of the ACLU of Georgia, “Meanwhile, Mr. Woody remains homeless and desperate to find shelter so he can turn his life around.”

Mr. Woody’s situation illustrates the extreme hurdles that people released from incarceration have to face when trying to turn around their lives. Recidivism rates increase when recently released individuals do not have access to housing or employment.

To help end mass incarceration, the ACLU of Georgia is committed to finding a better way to help people who have served their time reintegrate into society.   

Stay informed

ACLU of Georgia is part of a network of affiliates

Learn more about ACLU National