In response to increasing recommendations for everyone to engage in “social distancing” to slow the spread of COVID-19, for the first time in our thirty-three years, the Legal Clinic will suspend our community-based intake program and transition temporarily to a phone intake protocol beginning this Friday, March 13.
We have not made this decision lightly; our entire model hinges on meeting people where they are and building trust and rapport with clients in person. It is vital to remain committed to serving our community during this time, and we intend to continue providing support to clients and volunteers without requiring them to spend time in busy public spaces in order to connect with one another.
Our Legal Assistance Project staff is working diligently to ensure a smooth transition to the phone intake model for the time being, and we are grateful for the continued dedication of our volunteer community and the patience of our clients during this period of uncertainty.
Operating Status Update: Beginning Tuesday, March 17, Legal Clinic staff will telework, and our office will be closed. This means we will not be holding in-person appointments or meetings.
If you are seeking legal help from the Legal Clinic:
- Please call our main line at 202-328-5500. If your legal issue is one that our staff and volunteers can help with, we will connect you via phone with a volunteer lawyer to get more information about your case.
If you are a volunteer:
- If you are not currently signed up for intake, but wish to learn more and get on the phone intake schedule, please contact Kelsey Vaughan at email@example.com.
If you want to learn more:
On Wednesday, March 11, Mayor Bowser declared a state of emergency and a public health emergency. We are monitoring and keeping abreast of measures that local officials are taking to protect public health during this rapidly evolving situation, paying particular attention to those efforts focused on our neighbors experiencing homelessness and using the shelter system or residing in encampments. Here are some resources we are consulting, and encourage our community to read:
- Infectious Disease Toolkit for CoCs, HUD, March 2020
- District of Columbia Coronavirus (COVID-19) website: https://coronavirus.dc.gov/
- Preventing COVID-19 Spread in Communities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, March 11, 2020
- Interim Guidance for Homeless Shelters, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, March 9, 2020
COVID-19/Coronavirus Resource Guide
The following document contains resources available to the community during this time of crisis. We’ve compiled this information for ease of access, but please note that the list is extensive and the Legal Clinic has not fully reviewed all resources. The guide is being updated frequently, and so is subject to change – check the date and timestamp on the document for the latest version.