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Ready Response for Neighbors in Need

Dear Friends: September 19 of last year is a day that greatly impacted our very own Navy Yard community. Our staff and board were meeting at our offices when we noticed thick, billowing smoke from a nearby building. Sirens and commotion followed, and nearby streets closed. The Arthur Capper Senior Apartments were on fire just a few blocks away. All of us were saddened for the seniors who were no doubt frightened, and whose lives were being disrupted by this tragedy. As we later learned, our neighbors endured even greater chaos that afternoon than we imagined. There were logistical difficulties getting water to the fire, and Marines carried at least six tenants, who were paralyzed, from the building. Fourth-floor tenants could only exit the building by ladder. One of our own grantees, Legal Counsel for the Elderly (LCE), was a key support to Arthur Capper residents on the day of the fire. And they have continued to be instrumental in assisting these displaced seniors ever since. They provided direct outreach to Arthur Capper residents and collaborated extensively with local agencies, nonprofits, and pro bono providers. As a result, these displaced seniors have received emergency assistance, pro bono co-counsel, rehousing support, and the promise of a redeveloped Arthur Capper as affordable housing in the next two years. Looking to the future, LCE is educating local residents on disaster preparedness and advocating for systemic fire safety. Last week on International Day of Charity, I reflected on the experience of the Arthur Capper residents. Ensuring that DC’s legal aid community is poised to help our most vulnerable neighbors is our calling. Access to justice for every DC neighbor in their most dire times of need is why we do what we do. Thank you for standing with us and making it possible! Sincerely,


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