In an effort to address some of the new legal aid needs that have emerged as a result of COVID-19, the DC Bar Foundation has committed at least $100,00 for urgent civil legal aid in the District, focusing on serving groups disproportionately affected by COVID-19, and smaller organizations with leaner funding. Our funding prioritizes the following 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.
These nine organizations on the front lines will serve more clients, more comprehensively, with critical funding:
Bread for the City Children’s Law Center DC Affordable Law Firm DC Volunteer Lawyers Project Safe Sisters Circle School Justice Project Torture Abolition & Survivors Support Coalition Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights & Urban Affairs Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless
Our smaller COVID-19 response grants ($5,000 – $10,000) cover legal aid organizations’ unanticipated, unbudgeted expenses that arose as they transitioned to telework without disrupting their legal services to DC residents with low incomes. These grants cover necessities like laptops, cell phones, video conference subscriptions, and wi-fi for home offices.
Our large COVID-19 response grants ($15,000 – $25,000) cover the unanticipated, unbudgeted costs associated with providing legal services to a higher volume of clients due to the pandemic. These grants help cover the expenses of hiring new staff to assist with immediate needs such as filing unemployment insurance applications, filing appeals for disability claims, and challenging the denial of food stamps and cash assistance.
Thank you for being with us, ensuring a quick response to the inequities that demand action today. Together for equal access to justice, Kirra L. Jarratt Chief Executive Officer DC Bar Foundation