DC Bar Foundation Awards Over $11 Million for Free Legal Assistance in DC

[District of Columbia, December 22, 2020] – The DC Bar Foundation, in a record year for grantmaking, awarded over $11 million to 32 DC legal aid organizations providing free legal assistance to thousands of DC residents living with low incomes.


“The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated already existing civil legal issues faced by our city’s most vulnerable residents,” says Kirra Jarratt, Chief Executive Officer of the DC Bar Foundation. “We are proud to support our District neighbors by strengthening a vital legal aid network and by funding legal projects that are critical to ensuring and maintaining their wellbeing, throughout the pandemic and beyond.”


The DC Bar Foundation’s grants provide critical support to DC legal aid organizations providing a wide spectrum of civil legal services, including housing, employment, immigration, domestic violence, access to public benefits, and consumer law as well as family and disability law.


The majority of overall funds will go towards helping our neighbors in Wards 5, 7, and 8 where there is a concentration of families of four living on an annual income less than $25,000. The Foundation is proud to support a range of projects including representation for survivors of sex trafficking, representation for elderly tenants facing eviction proceedings and subsidy terminations, and legal services at school discipline hearings, to name just a few examples. More than half of overall funds will support efforts to combat housing-related issues including eviction and homelessness. These efforts are more important than ever before, as so many in DC living with low incomes are at risk of losing their housing due to the pandemic.


The more than $11 million in grants is comprised of three funding streams. The first stream of funding is from an appropriation from the Council of the District of Columbia through a grant from the Office of Victim Services and Justice Grants which are used for the Access to Justice Grants Program and Civil Legal Counsel Projects Grant Programs. The remaining two funding streams, private fundraising and revenue from the DC Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts Program, support the Foundation’s General Support Grants Program.


To read about the impact the DC Bar Foundation is having across the District, please visit www.dcbarfoundation.org.


About the DC Bar Foundation: We are committed to transforming DC's legal aid network so that all District residents have a fair and equal legal experience. Through our network approach, we actively work to bring together all invested stakeholders to identify and address the unmet civil legal needs of DC residents with low incomes, create solutions with a critical eye for racial justice and equity, and demonstrate meaningful impact.


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