By Patty Mullahy Fugere – Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless Executive Director

Welcome to “…with Housing and Justice for All,” the new blog of the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless.

As our friends already know, the Legal Clinic is deeply committed to a vision of a just and inclusive District of Columbia.  We dedicate ourselves to building a community that respects the rights and honors the dignity of all of her members, no matter the ward of their residence nor the balance of their bank account.  For nearly twenty-five years, we have used the tools of the legal profession to end the unnecessary suffering caused by homelessness and poverty.

We hope that, as we begin to blog about issues that impact the lives of our clients, you will come to see the Legal Clinic as an organization whose advocacy is faithful to our values:

  • Our clients are our greatest strength and inspiration – and they and their voices should have a place of privilege in the decision-making processes that impact their lives.  Counter-intuitive to what most of us learn in law school (i.e. to be the spokesperson for our clients), we strive not to speak for our clients when they can speak for themselves, and we work to provide the supports that they need to effectively tap their power and use their voice.
  • Two steps forward and one step back still move us — at however painful a pace — in the right direction.  We must be in this work for the long haul, and we must remain pointed in a forward direction, no matter the obstacles that we find on our path.
  • We must frame our advocacy in the notion that our criticisms must be constructive and our identification of problems must not be without our offering of solutions.
  • It is easier to stand together than to stand alone, but it is far better to stand alone than not to stand at all.
  • Truth-telling sometimes comes at a price, yet it is a price that is never too high to pay.

We look forward to sharing with you our views and insights, as well as hearing your feedback and concerns…and ultimately working together to assure that the nation’s capital is a place that provides “…housing and justice for all.”