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The DC Bar Foundation (DCBF) has established a COVID-19 Response Fund to address needs in the District of Columbia’s civil legal aid network that have been caused or intensified by the coronavirus pandemic.



The Foundation is providing emergency grants and other support to help the District’s civil legal aid community adapt and respond to the emergent needs of DC workers and families who are most vulnerable to the health and economic repercussions of the current pandemic.

In an initial round of emergency grants approved in June 2020, the Foundation prioritized small nonprofit legal aid organizations that are working with communities of color who have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.



DCBF’s COVID-19 Response Fund seeks to mitigate high-priority and short-term emergency civil legal aid needs of the most vulnerable residents in our community. Based on feedback from the network, we are seeing critical needs in three areas:

  • Employment Law: Helping grocery workers, nursing assistants, and other low-wage workers navigate workplace challenges stemming from COVID-19 such as rights to personal protective equipment or sick leave.

  • Family Law: Assisting families with child support, custody, and visitation emergencies such as parents not complying with existing visitation orders.

  • Public Benefits: Supporting individuals who have lost their low-wage jobs due to the crisis to secure unemployment compensation, as well as other types of cash and food assistance for their families.

The DC Bar Foundation places the highest priority and focus on residents and communities faced with systemic racism and long-standing unequal access to justice, specifically, District Wards 7 and 8, and residents who are experiencing homelessness.

The Coronavirus, Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, enacted into law on March 27, provides significant tax benefits for donors who support public charities like the DC Bar Foundation who have been impacted by COVID-19.

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