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East of the River Profiles:
Meeting the Community's Legal Needs

East of the River Map

East of the River Profiles highlight the work of lawyers,  law professors, and law students who serve low-income residents in Wards 7 and 8.  Poverty in the District of Columbia is concentrated in certain communities east of the Anacostia River. Lawyers are critical to helping low-income residents in these communities navigate challenges such as finding housing, stabilizing families, and finding jobs.

Providing the necessary legal services to those who live East of the River requires minimizing geographic barriers to accessing legal aid, motivating pro bono lawyers and law students to travel across the river to assist clients, and ensuring that legal aid lawyers are visible and accessible in the community. With East of the River Profiles, we hope to encourage these changes by highlighting the needs of those who live East of the River and the work done by the lawyers serving these communities.

In addition to telling these important stories, we've collected some East of the River resources. We also invite you to participate in the East of the River Casehandlers group.

Finally, we’d love to hear from you! If you have stories, successes, or resources that you’d like us to share, please contact our editors.

Whitman-Walker Health

27 June 2018   East River of the River Profiles

By Christelle Tshibengabo        Whitman-Walker Health is celebrating its 40th anniversary in the District of Columbia this year. Whitman-Walker Health is a non-profit community health organization. Whitman-Walker specializes in providing health care to the LGBT community and to those…

Is development in Anacostia breaking up a village?

14 June 2018   East River of the River Profiles

Most Washingtonians, regardless of where they reside, know that the city landscape is changing. It is hard not to notice the construction cranes and ubiquitous “sidewalk closed” signs signaling new buildings on the horizon. But this construction has left some,…

Bread for the City Breaks Ground in Southeast DC

26 February 2018   East River of the River Profiles, Featured

Exciting news from Bread for the City — the organization has begun construction on a 30,000 square-foot facility on Good Hope Road, more than tripling their footprint in Southeast! The new Southeast Center will provide a variety of new and…

$10 Million for East of the River Students to Attend College

17 October 2017   East River of the River Profiles, Featured

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has announced a $10 million grant for the D.C. College Access Program, a nonprofit that helps Ward 7 and Ward 8 students afford college.

For more than two decades, DC-CAP has helped District students attend college, providing financial assistance as well as counseling and advice to students and their families. The new grant will allow DC-CAP to partner with the College Success Foundation to expand their outreach to middle schools in Southeast and will help to provide up to $25,000 in scholarships for each eligible student. (more…)

DC Bar Foundation Awards Access to Justice Grants to Legal Services Providers East of the River

28 April 2017   East River of the River Profiles, Featured | Tags: , , , , , ,

The DC Bar Foundation recently announced the 2017 recipients of the Access to Justice Grants Program, which awards grants to DC-based organizations that provide free legal help to low-income DC residents. This year, over $4.5 million was awarded to more…

Beth Harrison and the Future of Legal Aid

19 January 2017   East River of the River Profiles, Featured | Tags: , ,

By Craig Welkener As DC’s affordable housing crisis deepens, Beth Harrison and other advocates have created an innovative program for people on the brink of eviction, pushing the boundaries of what has been possible in legal aid. By identifying at-risk…

Jobseeker Clinics East of the River

12 January 2017   East River of the River Profiles, Featured | Tags: , ,

By Caroline Fleming

This January, Neighborhood Legal Services Program is partnering with DC Public Library to launch Unlocking Employment, a new series of free, community-based legal clinics. The clinics, which will be staffed by dedicated NLSP personnel, are supported by a grant from the LSC Pro Bono Innovation Fund; the grant will enable half-day pro bono legal clinics several times a month at two library branches: Bellevue/William O. Lockridge in Ward 8, and Benning/Dorothy I. Height Library in Ward 7. Volunteer lawyers will help low-income job-seekers address barriers to employment, including background checks, driver’s-license revocation, and discrimination.

WMATA Proposes Cutting Service East of the River

18 October 2016   East River of the River Profiles, Featured | Tags: , ,

In an attempt to address ongoing budget difficulties, WMATA recently proposed several options, including service changes and fare increases to its rail and bus services. CityLab reports that both changes will disproportionately affect riders East of the River.

From Private Practice to Public Interest: Deborah Levine

01 September 2016   East River of the River Profiles, Featured | Tags: ,

By Miranda Hines

Deborah Levine has achieved the legal trifecta: She’s gone from private practice to the federal government to a public-interest organization. Now she’s bringing her skills east of the river. (More…)