Although grieving, she was willing to take on more responsibility. With the sudden death of her mother, Ms. B’s three younger brothers and sisters were in danger of having no home; the D.C. Housing Authority had terminated their subsidized housing. Only 24 years old and with three young children of her own, Ms. B sought custody of her siblings and a transfer of the housing subsidy to her name. But she needed help. She found it through one of the legal services providers funded by the D.C. Bar Foundation. The termination of the subsidy was withdrawn and proceedings have begun to transfer it to Ms. B. She now has custody of her brothers and sisters, and the family is intact.
He always paid his rent. In recent years, Mr. H, 74, had received financial assistance from concerned neighbors. Suddenly, he was sued for non-payment of rent. A D.C. Bar Foundation-funded legal services program that identifies and protects elderly people at risk of eviction discovered that the landlord had not properly credited his account. Not only was Mr. H not in arrears, but he was ahead in his payments. And he remains a good tenant.
She had to get her son back. Ms. J, a 28-year-old El Salvadoran, and her 10- year-old son had fled from her abusive husband. The husband, convicted and jailed for domestic violence, moved to California upon release from prison. Throughout their ordeal, Ms. J maintained the relationship between her son and his paternal grandparents, even allowing overnight visits. After one such visit, she was told that her son was now in California with his father and that she would never see him again. Until a legal services provider funded by the D.C. Bar Foundation helped her obtain an Emergency Custody Order, the police refused to act. Today, Ms. J and her son are together again in D.C.
She had no choice but to flee. Ms. M’s prominent and well-connected husband would not allow her to work or join a women’s rights group. When she refused to be circumcised, he threw her out of their house. He beat, raped and even tried to kill her, and the Tanzanian government would not act against him. She escaped to the U.S., but in her traumatized condition failed to file for asylum within the year. Through the intervention of a legal services organization funded by the D.C. Bar Foundation, Ms. M was represented by pro bono lawyers in immigration court and was granted asylum.
With a monthly income of less than $500, she could not secure counsel for her divorce. Her husband, who claimed that there was no marital property, had already received a default judgment against her. At age 64, she desperately needed some cushion as she began life alone again. A D.C. Bar Foundation-funded legal services program got the judgment set aside and discovered that the husband had a pension, a vehicle and real estate in another jurisdiction. After litigation, the woman received half of her spouse’s pension, and compensation for common real estate and half the value of their car, significantly improving not only her finances, but her overall physical and mental health as well.