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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Crime & Law, Homeless & Housing, Homeless Centers, Human Services, Public Interest Law, Unknown

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.

Programs: In addition to representing individual clients through our uniquely structured Legal Assistance Project, the Legal Clinic assists families who are homeless through Project Link-Up, a multifaceted strategy of representation and advocacy. The Legal Clinic's Law Reform Project works in a systemic fashion, often through class action litigation, to improve programs and benefits and expand the opportunities available to our neighbors who have no homes. Through our Community Education, Support and Advocacy efforts, the Legal Clinic works in coalition with other providers of services for homeless and low?income people in the District of Columbia.

Community Stories

10 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

Sczerina P.

Donor

Rating: 5

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Greg Z.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

Michael W.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.