The Boston Bar Foundation, which serves as the charitable affiliate of the Boston Bar Association, announced today that it will distribute $1,285,000 in grants to 29 local organizations working to provide legal services to underrepresented and in-need communities and individuals in the Greater Boston area. This year’s total grant amount represents the highest total in 15 years for the BBF, allowing funds to be distributed to three more organizations than in 2021.
“This year, we are thrilled to be able to fund an increase in both the number of grant recipients and total grant award,” remarked BFF President Russell Beck. “These grants, made possible by the lawyers, firms, and companies that support the BBF and its mission, will help further ensure equal access to justice in the Greater Boston community.”
The grants, funded by proceeds from the BBF’s annual John & Abigail Adams Benefit and accrued Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts (IOLTA), as well as the BBF’s own reserves, will help provide legal aid and services to the most vulnerable populations in and around Boston. This year’s grantees cover the full spectrum of legal needs, including issues of civil rights, housing and homelessness, access to public benefits, education law, and the rights of incarcerated peoples.
“BBF grantee partners provide life-changing legal aid to historically marginalized members of the Commonwealth, including immigrants, LGBTQ+ communities, prisoners, violence survivors, and communities of color,” Beck stated. “We look forward to continuing to support our long-standing partners, but also to expanding our support into new communities and to new organizations in the year ahead.”
The 2022 grant recipients include:
Arts & Business Council of Greater Boston: The Arts & Business Council of Greater Boston supports artists in the community with a variety of integrated services. Its Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts Project provides artists and arts organizations with equal access to legal resources, via direct legal representation, referrals to pro bono and low-fee counsel, and educational programming.
Casa Myrna Vazquez: Casa Myrna is Boston’s largest provider of domestic violence awareness efforts and of shelter and supportive services to survivors. The Legal Advocacy Program seeks to address the unmet legal needs of victims of domestic violence and commercial sexual exploitation.
Center for Law and Education: The mission of the Center for Law and Education (CLR) is to help all students receive a high-quality education. Rooted in both civil rights and school reform, CLE focuses on bringing the two together to address systemic barriers that impede students from low-income families—disproportionately students of color, English learners, and students with disabilities—from learning to high standards and remaining in school to learn.
Children’s Law Center of Massachusetts: The mission of the Children’s Law Center of Massachusetts is to promote and secure equal justice and to maximize opportunity for low-income children and youth by providing quality advocacy and legal services.
City Life/Vida Urbana: City Life/Vida Urbana is a bilingual, community organization whose mission is to fight for racial, social, and economic justice and gender equality by building working class power through direct action, coalition building, education, and advocacy.
De Novo: De Novo provides free civil legal assistance and affordable psychological counseling to low-income people, offering services that combat the effects of poverty and violence by helping clients and their children meet basic human needs for safety, income, health, and housing.
DOVE Inc.: DOVE’s Legal Advocacy Program supports underserved members of our community by providing legal services to domestic violence survivors. It promotes hope, healing, safety, and social change by providing a broad range of preventive and responsive services.
Greater Boston Legal Services (GBLS): The oldest and largest legal services program in New England, GBLS provides free legal assistance to as many low-income families as possible, helping them secure some of the most basic necessities of life.
HarborCOV: HarborCOV provides free safety and support services, along with housing and economic opportunities that promote long-term stability for people affected by violence and abuse.
Health Law Advocates: Health Law Advocates’ (HLA) mission is to help Massachusetts residents with low income overcome barriers to health care. It focuses especially on serving those who are members of historically oppressed populations by organizing its work into programs that address systemic barriers to health care.
Housing Families, Inc.: The mission of HFI is to end family homelessness. To achieve this mission, HFI’s multilateral approach includes pro bono legal services, emergency shelter, permanent affordable housing, case management, and a trauma-informed therapy program for children and parents.
Lawyers Clearinghouse on Affordable Housing and Homelessness: Lawyers Clearinghouse provides pro bono legal services to nonprofit organizations and to individuals who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.
Lawyers for Civil Rights: Lawyers for Civil Rights fosters equal opportunity and fights discrimination on behalf of people of color and immigrants, engaging in creative and courageous legal action, education, and advocacy in collaboration with law firms and community partners.
Massachusetts Advocates for Children: Massachusetts Advocates for Children’s mission is to remove barriers to educational and life opportunities for children and youth by advocating for, and partnering with, students and families; transforming school cultures to be inclusive, safe, and supportive; and creating systemic change so all children and youth can learn, reach their potential, and thrive.
Massachusetts Appleseed Center for Law & Justice: The mission of Massachusetts Appleseed Center for Law and Justice is to promote equal rights and opportunities for Massachusetts residents by developing and advocating for systemic solutions to social justice issues. By researching the ways that the most vulnerable are impacted by the justice system, it helps identify solutions to systemic problems.
Massachusetts Law Reform Institute: Massachusetts Law Reform Institute provides statewide advocacy and leadership in advancing laws, policies, and practices that secure economic, racial, and social justice for low-income people and communities.
MetroWest Legal Services: The mission of MetroWest Legal Services is to provide legal advocacy to protect and advance the rights of the poor, elderly, disabled, and other disenfranchised people and to assist them in obtaining legal, social, and economic justice.
Northeast Legal Aid: Northeast Legal Aid delivers civil legal services to the poor and elderly in Northeastern Massachusetts.
Pine Street Inn: The Homeless Court Program at Pine Street Inn serves homeless individuals who have open default warrants for misdemeanor and low-level felonies in courts throughout the Commonwealth, with the aim of removing barriers to housing for homeless individuals.
Political Asylum/Immigration Representation Project (PAIR): PAIR works to promote the rights of unjustly detained immigrants and to secure safety and freedom for asylum-seekers fleeing persecution.
Prisoners’ Legal Services: Prisoners’ Legal Services promotes the safe, humane, and lawful treatment of Massachusetts prisoners through civil rights litigation advocacy, counseling, and public outreach.
Project Citizenship: The goal of Project Citizenship is to partner with community-based organizations to help eligible, legal permanent residents overcome barriers to becoming U.S. citizens.
Rian Immigrant Center: Rian Immigrant Center welcomes and supports more than 3,500 immigrants and refugees from more than 120 countries every year, empowering newcomers with critical integration services so they can reach stability, contribute to their communities, and flourish.
The Second Step: The Second Step’s residential, community-based, and legal services programs provide comprehensive and transformational services to survivors of domestic violence and abuse in the Greater Boston Area.
Veterans Legal Services: Veterans Legal Services promotes self-sufficiency, stability, and financial security for veterans in Massachusetts through comprehensive and accessible legal services.
Volunteer Lawyers Project: The Volunteer Lawyers Project provides free civil legal assistance to low-income residents of Greater Boston through the pro bono services of private attorneys.
Women’s Lunch Place: Women’s Lunch Place is a safe, welcoming day shelter community, providing nutritious food and individualized services for women experiencing poverty or homelessness.
Women’s Bar Foundation: The Women’s Bar Foundation is dedicated to ensuring access to justice for low-income individuals. The Family Law Project for Domestic Abuse Survivors empowers domestic violence survivors by giving them a voice in their abuse prevention hearings and family law cases.
Youth Advocacy Foundation: The Youth Advocacy Foundation is the non-profit arm of the Massachusetts juvenile public defender agency: the Youth Advocacy Division of the Committee for Public Counsel Services. The EdLaw Project provides education advocacy for Massachusetts’ highest-risk youth.
For more information about the Boston Bar Foundation, click here.