The Boston Bar Foundation, which serves as the charitable affiliate of the Boston Bar Association, announced today that it will distribute $1,375,000 in legal services grants for 2023-2024 to 38 local organizations in the Greater Boston area—both increases over last year. These organizations serve the needs of the most vulnerable and marginalized members of our community, including domestic violence survivors, immigrants, prisoners, workers, veterans, children and families.
“This increased pool of funding not only allows us to reach a greater number of in-need members of the community,” said BBF President Stephen Hall, “but to do so in more creative and long-lasting ways so that we are not just supporting, but truly partnering with, our grantee organizations on their vital work.”
BBF grants, funded by accrued Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts (IOLTA), as well as BBF fundraising, help people of limited means with matters concerning civil rights, housing and homelessness, public education, public benefits, risks faced by incarcerated populations, citizenship, and other challenges for low-income litigants navigating the courts.
“As we plan for the next program year, I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do with these new opportunities and partnerships with new legal services organizations,” Hall said. “The BBF remains committed to being a vital and active part of the legal community.”
The 2023 grant recipients include:
Alternatives for Community and Environment: Alternatives for Community and Environment (ACE) is a neighborhood-based, environmental justice and transit-oriented development nonprofit. ACE is the first environmental justice nonprofit organization in Massachusetts and has defended the rights of Roxbury residents for over 25 years.
Boston CASA: Boston CASA is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to ensure a safe and permanent home for court-involved children in Suffolk County who have experienced abuse and neglect. Boston CASA fulfills its mission by recruiting, training, and supervising community volunteers to serve as Guardians ad Litem (GALs) who work to ensure these children have safe and permanent homes.
Casa Myrna: 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 (CLE) 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.
Citizens for Juvenile Justice: Citizens for Juvenile Justice (CFJJ)’s mission is to advocate for statewide systemic reform to achieve equitable youth justice. It advocates, builds coalitions through community engagement, conducts research, and educates the public on important juvenile justice issues.
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.
East Boston Community Council: East Boston Community Council (EBCC) has been the primary support and service provision organization for recently arrived immigrants in East Boston since 1978. EBCC’s mission is to promote the advancement of Latino immigrants of all ages through education, immigration services, advocacy, community organizing, and leadership development.
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 Housing Families, Inc. (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.
Justice4Housing: J4H is a grassroots organization committed to ending housing discrimination and homelessness for individuals impacted by incarceration and the criminal justice system. It is run by Formerly Incarcerated People (FIP) and utilizes lived experiences to organize and advocate for the abolishment of discriminatory federal, state, and local housing policies. It also ensures stable housing that addresses the root causes of justice-involved homelessness with holistic and community-based solutions.
La Colaborativa : Founded in 1988, La Colaborativa is a Latina-led organization that has been a steady and trusted partner to Latinx immigrants in Greater Boston, with a focus on gateway cities and towns such as Chelsea, East Boston, Everett, Lynn, and Revere. Its mission is to empower Latinx residents to enhance the social and economic health of the community and its people and to hold institutional decision-makers accountable to the community.
Lawyers Clearinghouse: 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.
MIRA Coalition: MIRA Coalition’s mission is to convene, serve, and organize together with members, community leaders, and allies for the advancement of all immigrants across the Commonwealth and beyond. MIRA coalition places immigrant and refugee voices at the forefront to advocate for the wellbeing of our 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.
One Can Help: One Can Help (OCH) provides the missing resources at-risk youth, foster children, and underserved families urgently need to remedy court concerns and improve difficult lives. OCH was created by court-appointed attorneys and social workers who believed that a major opportunity to meaningfully improve and enhance vulnerable lives is lost when there is juvenile court or child welfare agency involvement but no way to remedy concerns.
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.
REACH Beyond Domestic Violence: REACH provides survivors of domestic violence with safety, shelter, and a path to healing through emergency shelter services, education, community outreach, and community-based advocacy work.
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.
Rosie’s Place: The mission of Rosie’s Place is to provide a safe and nurturing environment that helps poor and homeless women maintain their dignity, seek opportunity, and find security in their lives.
Saheli: Saheli’s mission is to empower South Asian (SA) and Arab immigrant women and families to lead safe and healthy lives by providing culturally responsive, trauma-informed domestic violence intervention, prevention, and support services in these underserved communities.
Somali Development Fund: The Somali Development Center (SDC) is an immigrant-led nonprofit organization providing high quality community and legal services to Somali, African, Afghan and other immigrant communities in Greater Boston.
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.