Letter from the Executive Director
During this season of thanks, we at the DC Bar Foundation are grateful for more than 40 years of opportunities to do what we do.
Ensuring equal access to justice for every District resident, regardless of income, is our calling. And families like Ms. T’s are why we continue to be compelled to do this work.
At age 64, Ms. T was facing eviction. She was also in hospice, and one of her two disabled sons was confined to a bed. Ms. T paid her rent devotedly, but the local housing authority’s voucher program withheld more than $6,300 in back rent, due to housing code violations in the unit. In addition, her family was not receiving adequate home health care assistance. It was a frightening time.
Through the combined efforts of our grantee Legal Counsel for the Elderly (LCE) and other local partners, Ms. T and her sons were spared eviction and began receiving better home health care. They now live in a wheelchair-accessible unit complete with an elevator. In fact, Ms. T is no longer in hospice due to improvements in her medical condition – contributed to by her new living conditions.
Ms. T and her sons got the legal help they needed, but couldn’t afford, because of a four-decades-strong partnership. From our very beginning in the late 1970s when both organizations were new, the DC Bar Foundation forged a powerful bond in service with LCE. And for the past 40 years, we have championed the dignity and rights of our most vulnerable neighbors together.
This and many other valued relationships are the foundation for all we do, allowing us to provide unique, full-spectrum support and sustainability for DC legal aid. It is life-changing for those in our community who need it most. We give thanks for each of you who make it possible!
Kirra L. Jarratt
Tags: Issue 28 (November 2018)