Making Justice Real

The Official Blog of the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia

Jan 08

2021

Volunteering with Legal Aid During a Pandemic

My name is Alison DeSilva. I’m the owner and founder of DeSilva Studios, a DMV-Area-based pet & family photography studio. Given my background, my connection to Legal Aid probably seems unlikely. But when they reached out to me in August 2020 (through a friend of mine who supports Legal Aid) to see if I could help them with their annual report photography project, I jumped at the opportunity. Here’s my story and how helping Legal Aid’s mission became so important to me:
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Dec 28

2020

COVID Relief Is Finally Coming: While Not Nearly Enough, Recent Federal Legislation Provides Support and Protections for Our Client Community

The Coronavirus Response And Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2020 (the COVID relief legislation just passed by Congress and signed by the President) will provide some much-needed assistance in areas of importance to our client community.  Legal Aid is pleased that our clients (most of whom are Black and Brown, and have therefore disproportionately suffered from the economic and health burdens of this pandemic) will finally receive some relief from the federal government after far too many months of inaction and additional delays in recent days leading to the loss of unemployment benefits for millions nationwide.

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Dec 18

2020

Last Chance To File – Federal Unemployment Benefits End on December 26

As coronavirus cases surge across the country and many workplaces remain closed, the U.S. Congress has failed to extend critical benefits for unemployed workers. In fact, approximately 39,000 unemployment recipients in the District will lose all benefits the day after Christmas.

As we wrote earlier this year, unemployment compensation is a critical safety net for jobless workers. It can allow District workers to pay for basic necessities – such as food, shelter, and medical care – and avoid falling into poverty. There is no cash assistance alternative to unemployment compensation. Legal Aid urgently calls upon Congress to extend these essential benefits and encourages District workers to act now to take advantage of these programs before they expire (see below). Read more →

Dec 11

2020

Action Needed to Stop Ice Detentions at DC Courthouse

Within a week, the District’s immigrant community may finally get permanent protection against ICE detention after contact with local law enforcement. On December 15, 2020, the DC Council is scheduled to vote on the Sanctuary Values Act, which would make permanent an emergency law passed in 2019. If passed, this law could lift some of the terror our immigrant neighbors and their families have faced for many years. Read more →

Nov 16

2020

Legal Aid Receives Record $750,000 Donation from Amazon to Expand COVID-19 Response

Amazon has donated $750,000 to immediately help the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia support the surge of families and individuals facing urgent legal needs amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Funding will help Legal Aid hire new legal staff to provide legal assistance for scores more DC residents facing legal problems related to the pandemic, including eviction, foreclosure, debt, unemployment, and more.

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