WBA Foundation 2021 GRANT RECIPIENTS
Amara Legal Center provides free legal services to individuals whose rights have been violated while involved in commercial sex, whether involvement was by coercion, necessity, choice, or otherwise, in the DC metropolitan area. Amara’s attorneys are trained in providing trauma-informed legal services and are devoted to providing comprehensive support, making sure that its clients know they are not navigating their cases alone. The WBAF grant will support survivors of sex trafficking with civil legal services, including civil protection orders, child custody, divorce, sealing and vacating criminal records, and victim-witness advocacy.
Ayuda advocates for low-income immigrants through direct legal, social, and language services, training, and outreach in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Since 1973, Ayuda has served more than 100,000 immigrants. Ayuda is the only nonprofit organization in the DC metro area that offers a full range of integrated immigration and family law assistance, social services, and language access support for low-income immigrants from any county. The WBA Foundation grant supports Ayuda’s efforts in providing culturally-specific legal services for immigrant girls and women who are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking, as well as abused, abandoned, and neglected children.
DC KinCare Alliance supports the legal, financial, and related service needs of relative caregivers, the majority of whom are women, who step up to raise children in their extended families in times of crisis when the children’s parents are not able to care for them. DC KinCare Alliance is the only organization in DC focused solely on serving relative caregivers raising DC’s at-risk children. The WBAF grant will support the Kincare Legal Defense Project, which provides free legal representation to relative caregivers in court and free legal advice in their communities.
The DC Volunteer Lawyers Project addresses the critical shortage of legal assistance for low-income people in Washington, DC, especially in cases involving domestic violence. The WBAF grant will support HAVEN: Housing Advocacy for Victims, a new initiative within DCVLP’s Domestic Violence Program. HAVEN will provide District victims of domestic and other gender-based violence, the majority of whom are women, with legal assistance and advocacy on victim legal rights in housing, employment, and financial matters. HAVEN’s goal is to help victims achieve safety, housing and employment stability, and economic self-sufficiency.
The 2021 grant to the DC Volunteer Lawyers Project has been designated as the Patricia Gurne Memorial Grant. Ms. Gurne, who passed away last year, was a past president of both the Women’s Bar Association and the WBA Foundation. To honor her service, we are presenting this named grant in 2021.
First Shift Justice Project empowers low-income pregnant women and parents to safeguard the economic security and health of their families by asserting their workplace rights. By receiving advice and representation, working parents are able to assert their rights before they lose their positions or before their workplace stress becomes untenable, First Shift helps them safely maintain
their employment, their health and their family commitments. The WBA Foundation grant will support organization’s efforts to provide employment-related direct legal services to low-income women in the Washington Metro Area.
Legal Counsel for the Elderly champions the dignity and rights of vulnerable DC seniors age 60 and older by providing free legal help and social work services. They perform community outreach and regularly deliver educational programs on issues of concern to elders and their families, including Medicare, nursing home quality, and end-of-life planning. With thousands of hours of volunteer time contributed by 800+ volunteers, LCE provides a wide range of services: legal, psychosocial, financial, and educational. The WBA Foundation grant will support efforts to assist older low-income residents obtain hundreds of dollars in benefits from DC’s Schedule H Tax Credit via pro bono clinics at area law firms. Schedule H provides eligible District residents with a sizable tax credit to help to mitigate the extremely high housing costs in D.C. For individuals who do not owe income taxes (such as those with only a modest Social Security income), DC writes a check for the Schedule H credit. Low income clients can receive up to $1,200 via cash payments, funds that they can then use to avoid eviction, pay their property taxes, purchase food and medicine, pay off debts, and more.
The Network for Victim Recovery of DC empowers victims of crime to achieve survivor defined justice through a collaborative continuum of advocacy, case management, and legal services. Since its founding in 2012, NVRDC has served over 3,500 crime victims in the District, providing holistic case management and legal services for crime victims needing assistance regarding civil
protection order representation, crime victims’ rights enforcement, and Title IX/Clery representation for campus crime victims. WBA Foundation’s grant will help fund efforts lessen the impact of violence and system re-victimization by increasing access to legal services for all victims of crime, regardless of income and increase community based partners’ and the legal community’s knowledge of crime victims’ rights and the community’s understanding of rights and resources for survivors of sexual assault and other crimes.
SAFE SISTERS CIRCLE
safesisterscircle.org | @TheSafeSisters
The Safe Sisters Circle provides free culturally-specific, trauma-informed, and holistic services to Black women survivors of domestic violence and/or sexual abuse. Rooted in Safe Sisters Circle is the belief that there is value in having an organization established for Black women and where the majority of service providers and leadership within the organization are also
Black women. The organization utilizes a racial and gender equity lens when approaching the unique needs of the survivors requesting services. WBA Foundation’s grant will support East of the River Women’s Legal Services Project, which provides free legal services to Black women survivors of domestic and sexual violence living in Wards 7 and 8, specifically civil protection order hearings, family law cases, and victim advocacy cases. Safe Sisters Circle will also provide educational workshops and hold listening sessions for survivors and advocates living or working in Wards 7 and 8.
WASHINGTON LEGAL CLINIC FOR THE HOMELESS
The Washington Legal Clinic uses the law to make justice a reality for those who struggle with homelessness and poverty. Combining community lawyering and advocacy to achieve their clients’ goals, the organization’s staff and network of volunteer attorneys provide low barrier, comprehensive legal services at intake sites throughout DC, helping clients to access housing, shelter, and life-saving services. The WBA Foundation grant will support the clinic’s representation of families participating in DC’s Rapid Rehousing Program, helping them to achieve long-term housing stability. More than 90% of these families have been headed by women.
Click here for a list of 2019 Grant Recipients.
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