The Boston Bar Foundation (BBF), the charitable affiliate of the Boston Bar Association, announced today that it will provide $1,200,000 in grants to 26 community organizations that work to provide legal services to those in need. This funding is composed of proceeds from the BBF’s John & Abigail Adams Benefits, the largest legal aid fundraiser in the state, and Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts (IOLTA).
“This year the BBF is pleased to increase the total grants amount and number of grantees in order to expand the impact of critical legal services work in the community,” stated BBF President Russell Beck. “The work done by these incredible organizations helps to ensure access to justice, empower local communities, and increase equity in the Commonwealth during these challenging times. These grants would not be possible without the lawyers, law firms, and companies that support the work of the Boston Bar Foundation throughout the year.”
The grantee organizations administer legal aid to the most vulnerable and historically marginalized members of the population, including transgender and non-binary communities, domestic violence survivors, immigrants, prisoners, and communities of color. The emerging issues these organizations are concentrated in include civil rights, housing and homelessness, education law, increasing access to public benefits, mitigating risk faced by incarcerated populations, and addressing challenges for low-income litigants navigating the courts.
The 2021 grant recipients are:
Arts & Business Council of Greater Boston: The Arts & Business Council of Greater Boston supports artists in our community with a variety of integrated services. Its Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts Project provide 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.
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.
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.