I am writing to ask for your feedback on a project that has the potential to fix one of the most significant civil legal aid barriers for District residents.
As you may know, the District has more civil legal aid providers per square foot than any other jurisdiction in the country, and yet many residents are struggling to find a simple way to connect with the services they need. When residents seek help from the civil legal aid network, they are often in crisis. It can be traumatic for them to call or visit provider after provider, searching for help during one of the most vulnerable times in their lives.
Our solution is to create a single point of entry, either a hotline or website, that will allow residents to talk to someone who can directly connect them to the civil legal aid network provider who can assist them.
The DC Bar Foundation is proudly leading this effort. As part of our effort to transform the delivery of civil legal aid in the District, we have launched an initiative to create a coordinated intake and referral (CIR) system to increase coordination among the more than 50 legal services providers in the District.
Creating such a project is a herculean task that we are determined to get right. In addition to building out a structure for CIR, we are seeking feedback from nearly everyone connected to the city's civil legal aid network. We have engaged various District stakeholders with backgrounds in technology, legal aid, philanthropy, and social services to help us create a better coordinated civil legal aid network.
Now, I am asking you to weigh in and provide valuable feedback on the CIR design plan.
For CIR to be successful and effective, the system must be holistic and community-focused. We need your input on the system structure, how best to ensure community member input and outreach, how to integrate this larger effort with existing networks, and much more.
The feedback period is open until November 5, 2021, at 5:00 PM. For more details and to respond, click here. Your feedback has the potential to help thousands of residents easily access civil legal aid. I appreciate your input.
Kirra L. Jarratt
Chief Executive Officer