With high rates of poverty, unemployment, and homelessness, the need for free legal help in DC is immense. It touches everything. A woman needing protection from an abusive partner. A family about to be evicted from their home. A veteran being denied their disability benefits. A man not receiving his paycheck from his employer.
For the nearly 110,000 DC residents living in poverty, legal help for these problems can be entirely out of reach, putting their homes, their families, and their health at risk.
Whether it is providing low-income individuals with full representation in a court of law or leading a “know your rights” informational session in a local community center, civil legal aid gives a voice to those in need. DC Bar Foundation is the largest funder of civil legal aid and a steadfast community partner, committed to protecting the basic rights of all people. Through the help of the DC Bar Foundation, DC residents in poverty can gain access to justice to protect and improve their lives, regardless of what they can afford.
Below are a few words from individuals who have benefited from our support and received free legal help.
[I] learned that when something happens do not be afraid to speak out [and] to talk to other people who are not afraid to report these people.
A non-English-speaking immigrant who was a victim of fraud
I have advice for people who are experiencing this injustice: seek help. It can be hard, and I know people are scared that they have no power in this situation or no time to do anything about it. But sometimes, you fill up with courage.
A low-income worker who was denied pay
When I wrote you from [prison]…I never thought or imagined how the [civil aid attorneys] could help me. All I knew was I needed help. And I needed it now.
A prisoner who was refused protection after helping police in an investigation