"NEIGHBORHOOD LAWYERS" FOR FIFTY YEARS
Neighborhood Legal Services Program from its inception in 1964 has been committed to the idea that in order to best serve low-income residents our lawyers need to be situated in the communities we serve. Community members can walk into any of our three offices any Monday, Wednesday or Friday to ask for legal help. When our staff attorneys aren't assisting clients directly, they can often be found working with other community-based organizations, legal services providers and community members to identify legal, challenges facing low-income residents in order to collaborate on solutions.
LEVERAGING COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS TO HELP LOW-INCOME RESIDENTS
In the communities where our offices are located, residents face myriad challenges relating to finding employment, securing safe housing and stabilizing the families. Community-based organizations across the District are devoting substantial resources and expertise to helping low-income individuals and families navigate these challenges. NLSP partners with several of them to provide a reliable resource for clients who need to be referred for legal help and to provide legal information to their clients and staff. We currently have institutionalized, long-term partnerships to provide legal literacy training on a fixed schedule with organizations that include the DC Public Library, Bright Beginnings Inc. (early childhood education for homeless children) and the AFL-CIO's Building Futures job training program.
NLSP also partners with clients, residents and other stakeholders on a number of neighborhood-based initiatives. We participate in the work of the Ward 8 Partners Network, a group of family services providers, government agencies, schools, non-profit organizations, community advocates and churches whose goal is to build a network of partners in Ward 8 who are committed to serving at-risk families and children. NLSP also helped to organize the "Preserving Our Neighborhoods" task force in Ward 7. The task force was formed in 2013 as a coalition of ANC Commissioners, residents, activists, legal aid attorneys and other stakeholders concerned about the lack of affordable housing and the growing number of vacant and abandoned homes in Ward 7.
We also work hard to identify strategic partnerships with other legal services providers. For example, NLSP helps to facilitate the meetings and work of the East of the River Casehandlers. This is a group of public interest lawyers who meet every three months at the Anacostia Library to share program information and discuss strategies for dealing with issues of common concern to our low-income clients in Wards 7 and 8. We also conduct community-based, legal information programs for community members, public interest lawyers and pro bono attorneys at the Anacostia Library. Recent topics have included changes to the District's TANF program and the legal rights of third-party caregivers.
HOW TO PARTNER WITH NLSP
If you are interested in learning more about how to partner with NLSP to help meet the legal needs of your low-income clients and neighbors, please contact Heather Hodges at email@example.com or at 202.269.5119.