The Boston Bar Foundation (BBF) – the charitable affiliate of the Boston Bar Association – announced today that it will provide $1,000,000 in grants to 21 community organizations that work to provide legal services to those in need. Approximately 55% of the funding is comprised of proceeds from the BBF's annual John & Abigail Adams Benefit and BBF reserves, with the remainder derived from Interest on Lawyer Trust Account (IOLTA) funds.
The grantee organizations administer legal aid to the most vulnerable and underprivileged members of the population, such as the homeless, domestic violence survivors, at-risk children and veterans.
“I am thrilled that the Boston Bar Foundation’s grants program has reached the million-dollar mark,” said BBF President Lisa Goodheart, a partner at Sugarman Rogers Barshak & Cohen. "The tremendous success of the John & Abigail Adams Benefit, as well as the year-round support of the BBF's mission by lawyers, law firms, and area businesses has allowed us to assist these 21 important organizations in providing access to justice for those in need.”
The 2016 grant recipients are:
Casa Myrna Vazquez: Founded in 1977 to provide a safe haven for abused women, Casa Myrna is now Boston’s largest provider of shelter and supportive services to survivors of domestic violence.
Children’s Law Center of Massachusetts: The mission of the Children's Law Center of Massachusetts is to promote and secure equal justice for low-income youth through advocacy and legal services.
City Life/Vida Urbana: City Life/Vida Urbana is a grassroots community organization working towards racial, social and economic justice and gender equality by promoting individual empowerment and developing community leaders.
Community Legal Services and Counseling Center: Community Legal Services and Counseling Center provides free civil legal aid and affordable psychological counseling to low-income people.
Greater Boston Legal Services: 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.
Housing Families: Housing Families works to end family homelessness by offering safe, temporary shelter, quality affordable housing and individualized supportive services that nurture the potential of each family member and help maintain permanent housing.
Irish International Immigrant Center: Irish International Immigrant Center assists immigrants from Ireland and from around the world as they integrate into American society.
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.
Massachusetts Advocates for Children: Massachusetts Advocates for Children works to ensure equal opportunities for children who have disabilities, are low income or are racially/culturally diverse.
Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health: MassCOSH unites workers, unions and community groups with environmental and health activists to end dangerous work conditions, organize for safe, secure jobs, and advocate for healthy communities.
Massachusetts Law Reform Institute: The mission of Mass Law Reform is to advance economic, racial and social justice through legal action, policy advocacy, coalition building, and community outreach.
Massachusetts Legal Aid Website Project: This new, pilot program seeks to provide access to justice and legal resources to low-income clients through an online portal.
Medical-Legal Partnership I Boston: MLP’s mission is to equip healthcare, public health and human services teams with legal problem-solving strategies that promote health equity for vulnerable people.
MetroWest Legal Services, Inc.: MetroWest Legal Services protects the rights of elderly, disabled and other disenfranchised people and assists 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.
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.
Veterans Legal Services: Veterans Legal Services provides free and accessible legal services to ensure the self-sufficiency, stability and financial security of homeless and low-income veterans.
Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association: Volunteer Lawyers provides free civil legal assistance to low-income residents of Greater Boston through the pro bono services of private attorneys.
Women's Bar Foundation: Women's Bar Foundation provides free legal assistance to victims of domestic violence, low-income seniors seeking end-of-life documents, and low-income individuals involved in housing disputes.
As the charitable affiliate of the Boston Bar Association, the Boston Bar Foundation's mission is inspired by the values of professionalism, service, compassion and responsibility. The mission of the BBF is to promote justice by funding and promoting innovation in legal services, enhancing access to justice for the underserved and supporting the public interest activities of the bar.
The Boston Bar Association traces its origins to meetings convened by John Adams, who provided pro bono representation to the British soldiers prosecuted for the Boston Massacre and went on to become the nation’s second president. Its mission is to advance the highest standards of excellence for the legal profession, facilitate access to justice, serve the community at large and promote diversity and inclusion.