When the 2021 Point in Time survey counts 5,111 DC residents as homeless, there is work to be done. Staff lawyers and 150 legal intake, litigation, and outreach volunteers at WLCH meet, now both in person and virtually, with individuals and families experiencing homelessness or severe housing instability, offering direct legal representation at no cost and helping them achieve permanent, affordable housing. WLCH also strives to ensure that housing agencies respect clients' rights, shelters are well-maintained and accessible to people with disabilities, homeless services provide a safety net during financial crises, and shelter residents are educated about their rights under the law. WLCH typically serves 900+ individuals and though numbers were lower during the pandemic (thanks to a moratorium on evictions) they are expected to surge. You can amplify the call for housing justice – in court and in the community.
Headquarters: DC-Ward 1
Where They Operate: DC-Citywide; The Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless is located in the U Street district, on U St and 12th St NW. We serve individuals and families experiencing homelessness throughout the entire District of Columbia.
Population(s) Served: Low- to Moderate-Income Community Members
- Number of hours of volunteer work:
In 2016, DC law firms, solo practitioners and other legal professionals contributed approximately 11,130 hours of pro bono legal services, valued at $5,263,000.
- Number of clients served:
We opened 983 new client matters in 2016 and assisted hundreds more DC residents through representation of tenant associations, systemic advocacy and know-your-rights workshops.
- Number of volunteers:
The Legal Clinic has approximately 250 volunteer attorneys and paralegals.
Awards & Recognition
Professional Women in Advocacy Conference "Excellence in Advocacy Award" to Amber W. Harding, 2013
SHARC (Shelter Housing and Respectful Change) “Certificate of Appreciation for Deep Commitment to and outstanding legal support for Washington DC’s Homeless,” 2013
SHARC “Certificate of Appreciation” to Amber W. Harding, 2013
Gray Panthers of Metro Washington “Geraldine Brittain Award” to Patricia Mullahy Fugere, 2011
People for Fairness Coalition “The Peoples Award”, 2011
Consumer Leadership Forum “Certificate of Excellence for Outstanding Community/Organization Support,” 2010
DC Bar “William J. Brennan Award” to Patricia Mullahy Fugere, 2009
DC Center for Independent Living “Citizen Advocate” award to Amber W. Harding, 2007
DC Bar Foundation “Jerrold Scoutt Prize” to Scott McNeilly, 2004
National Association of Social Workers Metro Washington Chapter “Agency of the Year”, 2000
DC Bar Foundation “Jerrold Scoutt Prize” to Patricia Mullahy Fugere, 1998
Presidents Volunteer Action Award Citation, 1993
- D.C. Council Committee Abruptly Cancels Vote on Homeless Shelter Reforms
Thu Sep 21 2017, Washington City Paper
"I always have hope," says Amber Harding, an attorney at Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless, which remains opposed to the legislation.
- An Abandoned Building in Congress Heights Is the Keystone in a Battle Between Tenants, Developers, and the District
Thu Sep 14 2017, Washington City Paper
- On Three Decades of Homeless Advocacy-and the Challenges Ahead
Thu Jun 29 2017, Washington City Paper
The director of the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless discusses the state of homelessness in DC.
- After life on the street, former cop helps humanize the homeless for D.C. recruits
Thu Jun 29 2017, ThinkProgress
- Advocates Dissatisfied with Proposed Amendment to Govern Homeless Community
Thu Jun 29 2017, Street Sense
Homeless residents and community advocates voiced concerns at a June 14 Committee on Human Services hearing.
- $3 million or higher
- The current budget for Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless is: $1 million to $3 million
- $500k to $1 million
- Less than $500k
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