Posts Tagged ‘Issue 31 ( February 2019)’

News of Note

Will You Answer Our “Call to Action”?

Each year through their generous support of our Call to Action initiative, local law firms and businesses give low-income District residents vital access to legal resources. When you give to the Foundation, you help provide a wide range of services- including grants, trainings and technical assistance, and student debt loan repayment- to dozens of legal aid organizations throughout DC. Will you support our mission? Join the Foundation’s Call to Action campaign by donating on our website or filling out our printable donation form.

Host a Go Casual Event at Your Workplace

This year our legal aid community celebrates the tenth anniversary of the Go Casual for Justice dress-down campaign. So far, 36 workplaces have signed up to participate. Help us reach our goal of 60 participating workplaces! Register by emailing richey@dcbarfoundation.org, and learn more about Go Casual on our website.

We’re Hiring!

Are you interested in rewarding work promoting equal access to justice in the District? The DC Bar Foundation is hiring a Director of Development, an Operations Manager, and a Programs Officer to join our hardworking and passionate team. See details here.

Ready to be the Next Lip Sync Sensation?

Calling all singers, performers, and civil legal aid supporters!

Join the DC Bar Foundation’s Young Lawyers’ Network Leadership Council for its third annual Lip Sync for Justice event on Thursday June 6 from 6 – 9 PM at Arnold & Porter. It will be an evening of lip sync, karaoke, networking, and fun!

Last year’s event was an incredible success. Together, we celebrated with over 250 guests and raised more than $30,000 to improve access to justice for all DC residents. With your support, this year promises to be even bigger and better!

Become an event sponsor today: We have six unique sponsorship levels offering a perfect fit for everyone’s needs. (Individual tickets go on sale on April 1.) When you support this year’s Lip Sync for Justice, not only are you guaranteed an unforgettable night, you also make an impact on the lives of your District neighbors in need.

Questions about Lip Sync for Justice? Contact events@dcbarfoundation.org. We can’t wait to see you there!

Your Support in Action: Housing Justice

A Northeast DC homeowner recently fell behind on his mortgage, after being forced to resign from his job of more than 20 years to take care of his ill father.

When the homeowner’s mortgage lender sued him for foreclosure, he initially struggled to navigate the court process on his own. But with the assistance of an attorney funded through our grant program, he was able to get approved for a loan modification that not only saved his home from foreclosure, but also allowed him to make substantially more affordable monthly mortgage payments.

This is the kind of outcome our Access to Justice grants program makes possible, through funding to the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia for their Foreclosure Prevention Project. This initiative directly benefits low-income homeowners facing foreclosure at DC Superior Court. Without Legal Aid Society’s support, these individuals would not otherwise be able to afford legal assistance and representation.

Cases like these have a direct benefit on the individual, the community, and the District’s emergency housing resources. To learn more about how your support of the Foundation lifts up the DC community, please visit our website.

Letter From the Executive Director

Dear Friends:

The residents of DC’s Museum Square are a model of resilience. If you’ve seen the media coverage of their story, you’ve been moved by their commitment to saving their home – and affordable housing in the District.

The Museum Square tenants are low-income individuals and families, primarily Chinese immigrants, whose legal case began in 2013 when the Chinatown housing complex’s owner opted out of its Section 8 contract. The owner’s aim? Demolishing Museum Square and redeveloping the land into luxury condos and commercial space.

As their fight continues today and Museum Square’s future remains uncertain, the tenants face real burdens:

The owner has not made repairs and has allowed existing problems to go untended.

Elevators don’t always work, making life difficult and dangerous for elderly and disabled tenants.

Instead of maintaining the building, the owners have allowed it to deteriorate, in the hope that tenants will move out. When they do, apartments stand vacant.

Because of these concerns, tenants feel uncomfortable and under-valued.

Their story is not uncommon, as redevelopment of previously “undesirable” DC neighborhoods increases and the cost of housing rises. Low-income residents – many of whom have lived and worked here for years – risk losing their homes, breaking up their families, and negatively impacting their children’s schooling when their affordable housing dwindles.

Our funding for Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center’s (APALRC) Housing & Community Development Project is giving the tenants of both Museum Square and Wah Luck House the legal aid they need. This includes help with other legal issues affecting their ability to maintain their housing, such as loss of income. Our funding also promotes APALRC’s partnership with nonprofits working to protect the rights of renters and pro bono attorneys providing free legal representation. This team effort is critical for informing and assisting low-income tenants.

Your support of the DC Bar Foundation makes this possible. Thank you for being the change-makers working towards ensuring equal access to justice for our neighbors most in need. Together, we’ll continue this work in times that make it more urgent than ever.

 

Sincerely,

Kirra L. Jarratt
Executive Director