Nearly 35 years ago, Whitman-Walker Health received its first grant from DCBF. Over the past three decades, the Foundation has supported Whitman-Walker Health as it has transformed into the most reputable medical and legal services organization for DC’s LGBTQ and low-income community. In honor of LGBTQ Pride Month, the DC Bar Foundation recognizes the outstanding work of Whitman-Walker Health. We are proud to fund attorneys who assist LGBTQ individuals with immigration and discrimination cases, as well as obtaining identity documents, ensuring access to justice for their clients.
In addition to providing significant support to Whitman-Walker Health’s Max Robinson Center in Southeast DC, the Foundation also supports its Name and Gender Change Clinic, a project that we have proudly supported for more than two years. We recognize the urgent legal needs of DC’s low-income, transgender community, of which 80% are people of color, 31% are infected with HIV, and 36% are unemployed.
One of Whitman-Walker Health’s transgender clients is a 42-year-old woman and activist who fled her home in Latin America because of the country’s violence towards transgender individuals. Whitman-Walker Health’s immigration attorneys assisted her with her asylum case, while attorneys at the Name and Gender Change Clinic helped prepare her name change petition documents. With the attorneys’ help, the client was able to obtain a work permit, social security number, and DC ID, and she is now employed with a non-profit organization, takes English classes, has married, and moved into an apartment with her spouse. With the Foundation’s support, Whitman-Walker Health is able to provide free legal aid to more than 230 low-income and transgender DC residents each year, like the client above. In addition to funding, the Foundation provides legal training to their attorneys, many of whom also participate in our Loan Repayment Assistance Program – a prime example of how our grantees benefit from our 360-degree approach to grantmaking.