Over $10.5 Million Awarded for Free Legal Assistance in DC

[District of Columbia, November 26, 2019] – The DC Bar Foundation, in a record year for grantmaking, awarded over $10.5 million to 33 DC legal aid organizations providing free legal assistance to thousands of low-income DC residents.
“We are proud to support underserved residents in the District by funding legal projects that help to address their needs” says Kirra Jarratt, Chief Executive Officer of the DC Bar Foundation. “These grants will lay the groundwork in supporting the Foundation’s strategic plan to transform the civil legal aid network and ensure that all DC residents have a fair and equal legal experience regardless of their income.”
The DC Bar Foundation’s grants provide critical support to DC legal aid organizations providing a wide spectrum of civil legal services, including housing, employment, immigration, domestic violence, access to public benefits, and consumer law as well as family and disability law. One of the Foundation’s funding priorities is to establish a process that ensures access to counsel for individuals and families facing eviction.
The majority of funds will go towards helping our neighbors in Wards 5, 7, and 8 where there’s a concentration of families of four living on an annual income less than $25,000. These grants will maintain court-based and community-based offices, both of which serve as critical points of access for low-income DC residents. The Foundation is also proud to support a range of innovative projects including representation for detained immigrants at bond hearings, assistance for seniors navigating the probate process to ensure their estate is properly documented, and a coordinated intake and referral network for eviction defense and housing preservation.
The $10.5 million in grants is comprised of three funding streams. The first stream of funding is from an appropriation from the Council of the District of Columbia through a grant from the Office of Victim Services and Justice Grants which is used for the Access to Justice Grants Program and Civil Legal Counsel Projects Grant Programs. The remaining two funding streams are made up of private fundraising and revenue from the DC Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts Program which make up the Foundation’s General Support Grants Program.
To read about the impact the DC Bar Foundation is having across the District, please visit www.dcbarfoundation.org.

About the DC Bar Foundation: For DC residents in poverty, we make strategic investments to strengthen and expand our civil legal aid network, addressing critical needs and improving our community. As the largest funder of civil legal aid in the District, we are a steadfast community partner, committed to protecting access to justice in life’s most pivotal moments.