The Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless, Inc.

Rating: 5 stars   10 reviews

Issues: Homeless & Housing, Human Services, Crime & Law

Location: 1200 U St Nw 3rd Fl Washington DC 20009 USA

Mission: The Legal Clinic''s mission may be summed up in two words: Service and Solutions. We dedicate ourselves to providing quality, pro bono legal services to individual clients who are homeless. We seek permanent solutions to the challenges which our clients face, by working through systemic advocacy and law reform to improve the programs, benefits, resources and opportunities available to people who are homeless; challenged by mental illness; or living in poverty. We strive to assure that clients who are homeless are treated fairly and lawfully, and that the programs which are designed to serve them are administered in compliance with applicable law and regulations. We are committed to assuring that the pool of available resources which our clients so desperately need does not shrink below its already inadequate levels. We also strive to assure that our clients have the opportunity to be visible and vocal participants in the policy, fiscal and decision-making processes that so directly impact their lives.

2010 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Rating: 5 stars  

I am a new volunteer for the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless. I admire the professionalism and passionate advocacy of the clinic's staff to serve the most vulnerable citizens of our community. I have seen first-hand the positive impact of the clinic's advocacy to help people get the services they need. The clinic participates in educating the community about homelessness as well as doing outreach to recruit volunteers. They do a superb job of training pro bono attorneys and working with us to help the clients.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless has been instrumental in advocating for continued funding of shelter programs and has sought long term solutions to eradicate homelessness.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I can't think of anything to improve the important work the clinic performs now except recruit more volunteers to represent clients and support their advocacy efforts. They have the legal expertise to represent clients in certain areas and advocacy experience to make sure the needs of the poor are not ignored by the D.C. government. This is a terrific organization!

Rating: 5 stars  

I have been a volunteer at the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless for several years. I have also been a donor over the years. I have recently joined the Board of Directors. My law firm has been a strong supporter of the Clinic for many years. I have been incredibly impressed with the mission of the organization and am constantly amazed by the quality of the work performed by the Clinic. It is an honor to be a volunteer and Board member of such a terrific organization.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have the pleasure of sitting on the Board and also working with lawyers on staff to assist clients.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would love to see the organization receive more financial support in order to provide more services. The demand for the terrific work the Clinic does is great.

Rating: 5 stars  

Over the last 16 years I have been a volunteer, an intern, a fellow, a staff attorney, and now I find myself a committed donor to the work of the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless. WLCH staff and the volunteers they guide and support collaborate on a mission; to end the injustices caused by poverty, both on an individual level and on a community level. Every year, besides helping thousands of individuals with specific legal proboems, WLCH can point to a campaign victories, where their advocacy work helped to change policies or programs so that they better serve DC's most vulnerable residents.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

WLCH has been a pivotal to the DC anti-poverty community: - creating a program to support people who are awaiting Federal disability benefits. People who can't work because of disability can be kept out of shelter and hospitals through interim disability assistance. - creating a fairer welfare system that focused on employment while supporting those who have barriers to employment. the program has won numerous federal bonuses - which means additional money for the DC budget.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

WLCH needs additional resources for growth - but when they receive additional resources they spend them wisely on salaries for highly effective, passionate and hard-working staff.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

What specific problem, purpose, priority, or project prompted your gift?

Experience that the budget is almost entirely used to pay the salary of some of DCs best and brightest public interest lawyers and advocates.

Why did you make your donation at this time?

A bad economy combined with cuts to the safety net mean more people than ever need the help of WLCH.

What would you tell others about this organization?

WLCH is respected because it is effective to combine direct representation and advocacy for change.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

Rating: 5 stars  

I'm a 3rd year law student, and this is my third year to volunteer fundraising for the WLCH. The WLCH is wonderful because of the vast array of ways it helps the homeless population in DC: advocacy of homelessness and poverty issues, representing homeless clients, and community outreach, to name a few. It's pretty incredible what all they manage to do on a non-profit budget; Patty and her team are complete professionals. Volunteering for the clinic has been the best experience of my law school career by far!

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

its fantastic representation of homeless residents of DC, and its incredible ability to raise awareness of homelessness and poverty issues.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

get it more money so they can do more good work!

Rating: 5 stars  

I have been a volunteer attorney for the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless for over 20 years. Over that lengthy period, the Legal Clinic's staff has maintianed an unfailing commitment to serving those less fortunate in the DC community. Through the efforts of the Legal Clinic staff and the volunteer attorneys, thousands in our community have obtained justice, and, for many, the opprotunity for a better life. As a volunteer attorney, a key reason I have been able to serve clients effectively is because of the amazing support provided by the Clinic's staff attorneys--- in terms of both substantive legal knowledge and practical advice. Additionally, the Legal Clinic is unique in that it serves both individual clients and addresses systemic problems identified from that individual representation.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The representation of homeless clients.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Obtain greater funding to allow for an increased number of staff attorneys.

Rating: 5 stars  

As a summer law clerk at the Legal Clinic, I was alternately humbled and awed by the commitment, skill, and success the Clinic's lawyers and staff demonstrated while advocating for our clients. Their expertise and excellence, along with the efforts of our clients--who themselves inspired me with their steadfast advocacy--motivated me to improve my traditional legal skills and expand my understanding of what effective lawyering should be. From client intake interviews to shelter termination reviews to commenting on proposed federal regulations affecting the homeless community, I engaged in both direct representation and policy advocacy this summer. The Legal Clinic's close connection to its clients and the Washington community informs not only its first-rate legal representation, but also its work in policy. When the Legal Clinic proposes a fair budget that works for all Washingtonians, stakeholders can be assured that the proposal serves the broad interest of the community. I finished the summer with a great admiration for this model of legal advocacy, and I believe more organizations should seek to replicate it in their own work. Last, but certainly not least, the Legal Clinic amplifies the voices of members of our community who are too often ignored in our political debate. The Clinic doesn't merely preach values of justice and inclusion--it practices them on a daily basis. The Legal Clinic walks with our neighbors in need and fights with them to create a Washington of which we all can be proud and in which we can all prosper.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My growth as a future attorney. Through the technical legal skills (client representation, research and writing, oral advocacy, administrative law) and broader advocacy skills (media outreach, organizing, informal advocacy with social service providers) I gained this past summer, I have greatly improved my capacity for critical and creative lawyering.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

enlarge its budget in order to hire more staff and attorneys to handle the Clinic's growing caseload. In an economic irony, downturns present increased challenges for the Legal Clinic's fundraising, while simultaneously causing more people to be at risk or to experience homelessness. In these difficult times, the Clinic should be growing to serve the needs of our community.

Rating: 5 stars  

I am a law student volunteer and have worked with WLCH staff and Board Members, all of whom are incredibly talented, enthusiastic and inspiring. In addition to their direct client work, I am aways impressed by the WLCH dedication to educating the community about homelessness. I have witnessed this first hand as a member of Home Court, a law student organization supporting the WLCH--the clinic staff is extremely committed to getting the message out there and arming the next generation with the tools it needs to keep up the fight.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

that I have seen how it has given my fellow students a cause to believe in.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

find ways for them to expand their reach.

Rating: 5 stars  

I began as a volunteer with the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless in 1988 as a law student, and have been on the Board of Directors since that time. I can say without hesitation that it is the best and most worthy public service organization I have event encountered. The Clinic has a unified and excellent staff of professionals, who work in concert with a network of volunteer attorneys throughout the city, to ensure real, tangible and sometimes life changing services to a group of clients who most need representation. Of all of the organizations to which I have contributed time or money, the Legal Clinic is number 1 in terms of making me feel certain that my donation will be used meaningfully, efficiently, caringly and in a manner that will really make a difference in people's lives.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

many things over the years -- I have seen the Clinic fight systemic battles that have changed law and policy for the better in DC, and I have also seen many legal battles fought on behalf of individual women, children and men who need legal services.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

find a way to raise enough money to ensure that the Clinic could double in size and reach.

Rating: 5 stars  

I was a senior in High School when I spent a summer working for the Legal Clinic. This was one of the best summers of my life. Coming from a wealthy suburban neighborhood I viewed a completely different part of society and that experience made me a better person. I witnessed first hand how hard the staff attorneys work and how deeply they care about the people they are helping. I attended intake sessions where I heard the most heart wrenching stories of poverty and despair. Everyone at the Legal Clinic was working 24/7 to provide rights and options for these needy individuals that the rest of society had cast out. It is a wonderful charity that devotes all its capital directly into helping the homeless.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

that it gave me a view of a different world and allowed me a tool to help others.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

promote then more so as to raise awareness and money. Every dollar is needed!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

Rating: 5 stars  

The Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless is one of the most worthy causes in our nation's capital. As a first-year law student, new to Washington, DC, I was astonished at the number of homeless people living on the streets in dire conditions just blocks away from the Capitol and the White House. I became involved in Home Court, a charity event benefiting the Legal Clinic, to try to support their work on behalf of those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. In my three years working with the Legal Clinic, I have learned that the needs of this community are overwhelming and quite daunting. Still, I am constantly inspired by the Legal Clinic's amazing staff and dedicated volunteer attorneys who tackle the problems of the impoverished head on through direct legal representation and large scale advocacy. The Legal Clinic has a holistic approach, which makes a difference in the lives of so many. They are invested in their clients' well-being and safety. They work tirelessly to try to improve the lives of those most in need. They work hard to break the stereotypes about homeless people and to educate the public and the government on the hard facts about poverty and homelessness. And in their work, they break so many stereotypes about Washington DC lawyers. The Legal Clinic community is made up of some of the most inspiring, committed and selfless people I know, and I am proud to help their efforts even in the smallest of ways.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the success stories of families who were put into Section 8 housing, or individuals who were squeezed into the shelter system only because the Legal Clinic advocated on their behalves.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

get them a lot more funding because no one makes a dollar go further than the Legal Clinic.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

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