We thank the D.C. Council for ensuring DC residents retain access to legal help by restoring Access to Justice Initiative funding to $31.6M!
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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE INITIATIVE’S IMPACT
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INITIATIVE’S IMPACT ON ADDRESSING COMMUNITY NEED
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INITIATIVE’S IMPACT IN EACH WARD
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KEY ADVOCACY MESSAGES
- We are grateful that the D.C. Council has identified $31.6M to restore funding for the Access to Justice Initiative.
- Cuts to the Access to Justice Initiative would have had catastrophic consequences for the thousands of DC residents who rely on the program for legal help. By eliminating access to critically needed legal services, this cut would have put the safety, health, housing, and economic stability of some of the District’s most vulnerable populations at risk.
- These services matter for clients. Access to legal help leads to better individual and community outcomes and a fairer, more just civil justice system.
- The Initiative is an important part of a continuum of community services such that cuts to the program, in concert with other proposed cuts in various sectors, would have proven disastrous for vulnerable District residents. Cuts to emergency rental assistance, victim services, safety net programs, and legal services are all related, and would have created a perfect storm for District’s residents who are already vulnerable.
- Failing to invest in services that work worsens the circumstances of those already in crisis and further burdens government systems when need is growing.
- FY24 funding of $31.6M will provide over $20M for a wide range of civil legal services; $11M for eviction-related legal services; and $350,000 for loan repayment assistance to DC legal services attorneys.