Legal Clinic – Page 4 – Bread for the City

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Language Access: More work to be done!

The DC Language Access Act of 2004 was groundbreaking legislation that was intended to ensure the rights of DC’s diverse community to access government services. This law already requires DC government agencies to provide interpretation–in all languages–for limited and non-English proficient (LEP/NEP) individuals that seek to access services, and in some cases government agencies must provide written translations as well.

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Making the Case for Community Lawyering

For 42 years, Bread for the City has delivered poverty-relief services in the District of Columbia. For the last 25 years, a key part of that relief has been given through legal services.

In the 1990s the social services staff noticed that many of their clients were routinely being denied disability benefits. What started as an ad-hoc initiative to try and help more clients burgeoned into the current iteration of the legal clinic, where attorneys assist clients not only on disability benefits but also in the areas of public benefits, family law and domestic violence, and housing law.

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Guest Blog: TANF is a Lifeline for DC’s Most Vulnerable Kids. Let’s Protect DC’s Children and Help Their Parents Succeed!

The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program ensures that children have their most basic needs met despite the economic hardships their parents face. However, under current law, DC will cut 13,000 children from all cash assistance this October, simply because their families have reached the TANF time limit.

This harsh rule ignores the reality that cutting off families before they are ready will push thousands deeper into poverty. This is why Bread for the City supports the DC Public Assistance Amendment Act of 2015, which will create exemptions and extensions for families who need more time to continue on the path to self-sufficiency. This series of guest blogs will share various perspectives on the need for a more flexible time limit. More information can be found atTANFisalifeline.org.

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Guest Blog: Cutting TANF Would Hurt Domestic Violence Survivors

The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program ensures that children have their most basic needs met despite the economic hardships their parents face. However, under current law, DC will cut 13,000 children from all cash assistance this October, simply because their families have reached the TANF time limit.

This harsh rule ignores the reality that cutting off families before they are ready will push thousands deeper into poverty. This is why Bread for the City supports the DC Public Assistance Amendment Act of 2015, which will create exemptions and extensions for families who need more time to continue on the path to self-sufficiency. This series of guest blogs will share various perspectives on the need for a more flexible time limit. More information can be found atTANFisalifeline.org.

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Navigating DC’s Department of Human Services: My Experience as a Refugee

Last Thursday, the DC Council held an oversight hearing for the Department of Human Services (DHS), which provides low-income District residents with public benefits such as TANF, SNAP, and Medicaid/Alliance health insurance.

These hearings are an opportunity for community members to raise concerns about DC agencies. Below is an excerpt of written testimony from a Bread for the City client…

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Happy One Year Anniversary to the “Ban the Box”!

If you follow us at Bread for the City, you know that last June, the DC City council passed the Fair Criminal Record Screening Act (also known as “Ban the Box”). This law protects returning citizens from discrimination from employers. It was passed thanks to the tireless efforts of community members, returning citizens, organizations around the city, and Bread for the City’s Community Lawyering Project (including our own Aja Taylor, who won an award for her efforts!).

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Managing Attorney Rebecca Lindhurst Recognized for Excellence

Bread for the City Managing Attorney Rebecca Lindhurst received the Washington Council of Lawyers 2015 Legal Services Award last Wednesday night. This recognition is well-deserved, a long time coming, and all of us at Bread couldn’t be more proud of her.

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Acceso a Lenguaje es un Derecho Humano

Pareciera claro: si usted es un residente de la ciudad y no domina el idioma inglés, la ley de Acceso Lingüístico del Distrito de Columbia de 2004 exige que el Gobierno del Distrito de Columbia le proporcione un intérprete, ya sea en persona o vía telefónica, siempre que usted acceda a sus servicios. Hay un motivo para esta ley: el gobierno está para servir a sus residentes, incluso aquellos que no se sienten cómodos comunicándose en inglés. Al asegurarse de que los residentes puedan recibir servicios de interpretación, el gobierno no sólo respeta la dignidad de su pueblo, sino que también comunica información de importancia vital con eficacia. En realidad, todos salimos ganando.

In times of crisis, we all need to come together.

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