Tzedek DC, On the Front Lines for Consumer Legal Aid

Marilyn and Fred Johnson were a long-married couple in their 50s, living on a limited income. When both of their elderly mothers became ill, they faced an agonizing situation. To provide necessary care, Marilyn and Fred needed to leave their apartment of many years. They tried negotiating with the rental management company, who instead sued them for the $4,223 remaining on the lease.

Arriving at the courthouse without representation, they met staff from our grantee Tzedek DC. A DC Bar member volunteering that day with Tzedek represented the Johnsons, winning a favorable resolution. Marilyn and Fred could move in with their ailing parents, without the added devastation of a lawsuit.

The Johnsons are not alone. Free legal help in consumer law is scarce. Nearly 90 percent of DC residents with debt problems receive no legal help. At least 42 percent of low-income DC residents who are sued enter into default judgments. And debt-related issues disproportionately affect people of color and immigrants.

Your commitment to DC Bar Foundation’s mission makes Tzedek’s work possible in high-need areas like consumer law. Through both project grants and general-support grants for practical operating expenses, DCBF is amplifying the impact of every dollar. Newer, smaller legal aid organizations like Tzedek DC are sustained on the front lines by comprehensive Foundation backing.

It is all because of you. Thanks for your support!

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