Happy new year to our Legal Clinic community! We hope that 2022 is off to a safe and healthy start for our clients, volunteers, donors, and allies.
Typically, a new year’s message would be the first posting of the year. This year, however, that message was happily pre-empted by our blog sharing the extraordinary news of victory for long-time residents of Congress Heights, our clients through our Affordable Housing Initiative, who battled a notorious landlord, slum conditions, and efforts to displace them for years – and ultimately secured the commitment to develop nearly 200 units of affordable housing in the heart of their community.
We hope that 2022 holds many victories for our clients. We have rolled up our sleeves and are eager make that hope a reality, just as we’ve done for the past 35 years. Yes, 35 years! This May, the Legal Clinic turns 35, and as we approach this milestone, not only do we pause in celebration, but we pause, too, in reflection and gratitude.
In celebration, we lift up our work helping tens of thousands of clients achieve their goals and regain a sense of stability in their lives; reforming housing and safety net programs upon which community members in crisis rely; reshaping the laws governing homeless services; securing desperately needed funding for DC’s affordable housing programs; supporting countless pro bono lawyers and partner firms as they dedicated their time and talent to ensuring that our clients’ rights were respected and their needs were met.
As this anniversary year unfolds, we will reflect upon and explore the many lessons that we have learned along this amazing journey, such as:
- Individual client representation changes lives.
- Systemic policy and budget advocacy are essential to housing justice.
- Our clients’ voices are powerful, and their wisdom is great; we learn from each other daily.
- Housing is foundational.
In gratitude, we offer our thanks to all who have made our work possible…and successful! Our clients, volunteers, donors, and allies all have played an important role in bringing us to this moment in time. It is a moment when we re-commit ourselves to the work of housing justice, and we invite you to do the same.
As we look ahead at 2022, envision with us a year that holds promise for being the year when a great number of our unhoused neighbors are able, at long last, to go home.