This Women’s History Month, we are remembering the disproportionate number of women in poverty, vulnerable situations, and in desperate need of legal assistance. In America:
- 1 in 3 women live in or near poverty.
- Two-thirds of minimum wage workers are women.
- More than two thirds of elderly Americans in poverty are women.
- 1 in 3 women has been the victim of domestic violence.
For women like these, legal aid can provide the vital help they need to protect their rights, their families, and their lives.
With your help, DCBF has served 30,000 District residents each year, providing critical legal aid and filling the gaps that continue a cycle of poverty. Thank you for partnering with us in this effort.
Kirra L. Jarratt, Executive Director
Read about the work of our grantees and the clients they have helped. This month’s story is from Bread for the City and their collaborative Housing Right to Counsel Pilot Project, which received a $91,000 grant from DCBF. This project’s goal is to prevent displacement and the loss of affordable housing by increasing access to counsel for low-income tenants in subsidized housing facing eviction.
In December 2016, a woman living in a HUD-subsidized home with her two young children was attacked, and her sister was injured by the assailants. In the aftermath, her landlord sued her for eviction for engaging in unlawful activity that threatened the health and safety of others. With her housing subsidy attached to the property, an eviction would have lost her all rights to any subsidized housing in the future, putting affordable housing out of reach, and resulting in homelessness.
As part of the Right to Counsel Pilot Project, the woman was connected to an attorney to represent her in her case, and the case was eventually dismissed. The woman and her children remained in their home and, more importantly, kept her subsidy that will keep her in housing she can afford.
We regularly highlight the efforts of those who work to make our justice system more accessible and equitable for all. This Partner Profile features Donald Dunner, Co-Chair of DCBF’s Call to Action and Chair of the Foundation’s Advisory Committee.
Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garret & Dunner, LLP
Years on the Job
Where did you grow up?
What brought you to DC?
Law school; job as examiner at Patent Office
What was your first job in DC, and what did you learn?
Examiner in Patent Office; learned patent law basics
Reading the morning newspaper
My Cousin Vinny
Favorite Vacation Spot
Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt
Your News Source
Washington Post; TV news programs
One thing (other than your phone) you never leave the house without is…
Hearing aid batteries
Most rewarding element of your work
A challenge you faced early in your career
Trying my first lawsuit
If I hadn’t become a lawyer, I would be a…
If I weren’t working at Finnegan, I would be…
Legal aid is important to me because . . .
A need/desire to pay society back
My dream for the legal system is…
To satisfy legal needs for those unable to afford it
Want to be featured in an upcoming DCBF Newsletter? Fill out our Partner Profile Survey and tell us about your part in DC’s legal aid community.