On Saturday, April 26th, the Dunlap family hosted a spring house party benefit for Seattle Community Law Center.
Fran and John Dunlap opened their University Village home to friends, neighbors, board members, volunteers, and supporters for an afternoon of wine, beer, and yummy home-cooked food
Among the crowd was a client from our DHAP program (Disabled Homeless Advocacy Project), Susan Russell, who came to the party to talk to the community about the realities of being homeless. She explained to curious listeners how her experience of being a client at SCLC was an integral part in her journey towards acquiring stable finances and, eventually, stable housing (see her compelling video below, created by Real Change News).
One of the largest barriers disabled homeless people face is a lack of reliable income. Often times they are entitled to SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) benefits because they are unable to work or are unable to continue the work that they did prior to their disability. These financial barriers are the reality of homelessness.
On the other hand, low income individuals who are already on SSDI face another reality. Losing their benefits often times puts them at great risk of losing their home and, subsequently, becoming homeless. Directing Attorney of our SSAP program (Social Security Advocacy Project), Maren Miller Bam, ensures that our clients are treated fairly and that their voice is heard by the court system when their benefits are in danger.
The fact of the matter is that fair representation should never be contingent upon the wealth an individual has. At Seattle Community Law Center, we meet our clients where they are at – in the community and in life – often taking cases that are non-fee generating and thereby undesirable to a private law firm. These are people who would otherwise never get a fair shot.
Every year we serve over 800 individuals across Washington State who would, in most cases, be unable to find proper legal advice and/or representation. There are many more that we could serve with the right resources. These people could be your mother, brother, father, or sister – your uncle or your aunt – and deserve to have a voice in their financial fate. A fate that is often times determined by the courts.
On a sunny Saturday at the Dunlap’s house party, we raised over $2,000 for Seattle Community Law Center so that we may continue to do our much needed work within the community. Thank you to our supporters – the “champions” of our cause – for standing with us for fair representation and due process and for giving a voice to those who need it most.
Please stay tuned, on Facebook and through e-mail, for information about our next house party and for how you can get involved.