The Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless works tirelessly to end the unnecessary suffering caused by poverty and advocates for justice for people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless in D.C.
Since its founding in 1986, the Legal Clinic has become a principal force in protecting the rights of homeless and other low-income people in D.C. through a unique combination of direct representation, class action litigation, policy and budget advocacy, and community outreach and organizing. The Legal Clinic’s goal is to bring an end to homelessness by improving the programs, benefits, resources and opportunities available to people challenged by the effects of poverty.
Over the years, the Legal Clinic has opened more than 30,000 individual client matters, including cases involving wrongful evictions and shelter terminations, applications for public assistance and standardized housing, credit and other consumer matters, discrimination and mental health, and more. These cases are handled by a network of nearly 200 lawyers and paralegals volunteering at one of seven intake locations.
The Legal Clinic works to develop and advance strategies to lift up the voices of its clients so they have meaningful input in the decisions that profoundly affect their lives. It has trained countless community members experiencing homelessness about their rights under federal and local laws, as well as how to be an advocate, and for more than fifteen years has trained all police recruits on the rights of people who are homeless and the resources available to assist them.
You can learn more about the Legal Clinic’s important work fighting injustices that anchor our homeless neighbors in poverty by hearing directly from some of its former clients about the struggle against homelessness in the video below.