On behalf of the D.C. Bar and the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Program, I wish to extend our heartfelt congratulations to the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless (WLCH) for 25 years of leading our community’s fight to end homelessness and to providing decent and affordable housing to all our neighbors.
We are proud that, in 1986, D.C. Bar members urged the formation of a committee that piloted a project to provide legal services to the homeless. Out of that project came the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless, whose impact on tens of thousands of people living in poverty in our nation’s capital has been extraordinary. Through direct services, impact litigation, and legislative advocacy, WLCH has forever changed the legal rights of homeless people in the District of Columbia. It also has changed greatly the way our legal community views its role in helping to end homelessness.
WLCH has been a great partner to the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Program. Together, we have worked strategically to place and support hundreds upon hundreds of public benefits cases with pro bono lawyers. We have cosponsored scores of poverty-law training sessions attended by hundreds of private and government lawyers. We also have led and staffed special projects in response to our community’s urgent legal needs, including the Children’s SSI Project and the Hurricane Katrina Legal Relief Project. We have worked tirelessly, arm-in-arm, to expand access to justice to improve the lives of our clients.
Although WLCH’s victories are countless, we know there is still much left to do. We will continue to stand by the Legal Clinic for as long as it takes to end homelessness in the District of Columbia. One of our proudest moments was launching Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless. One of our greatest hopes is that all good work will soon make the organization unnecessary.
Congratulations on 25 years of remarkable service.
Darrell G. Mottley
D.C. Bar President
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