Every year, Legal Aid Society works to improve access to justice for hundreds of people living in poverty whose needs are simply not being met. And the needs are great: getting legal help could mean that a family gets heat in the winter, a woman escapes a domestic violence situation, a senior citizen obtains the right prescription drug plan, a person in need receives the proper safety net benefits. Last year, Legal Aid services directly benefited nearly 8,800 District residents, the majority of whom live in the poorest wards of the city. Thousands more benefited from referrals, legal rights education efforts, and law reforms that better protect those rights. Equal justice is at the very core of the mission. Your support allows the oldest and largest legal services program in DC to continue making justice real for everyone.
Shifting from in-court representation to direct assistance, Legal Aid has helped clients with unemployment insurance, public benefits, eviction defense, foreclosure, debt collection and domestic violence issues. Advocating (always with a racial justice lens) with the DC Council, DC Superior Court, and DC government yielded significant successes: the District suspended evictions, foreclosures, and debt collection actions, and extended an array of income support and health care programs for DC residents. It also developed a reopening plan that recognizes the challenges faced by the DC community.