Benefits Law Center (BLC) is honored to present our 5th annual Equity Award to REACH for providing impartial services to culturally and linguistically diverse people and families in the King County and Seattle areas. The award recognizes a BLC partner organization that demonstrates a strong commitment to racial and economic justice, and we are honored to have REACH accept this award for 2021. To watch our award presentation, please click here.
REACH builds relationships with people experiencing homelessness and connects them to the help that they need – everything from food and clothing to medical care, shelter, and mental health and/or substance use treatment. While other service providers shut down and followed orders to stay home and stay healthy, housing advocates – like those at REACH – have bridged the gap for people living without technology and without housing. The close relationships and connections that REACH workers build and maintain make the difference.
In 2021, our formal partnership with REACH began in an effort to bring public benefits advocacy to their field outreach for people experiencing homelessness. We are so impressed and filled with hope when we see the way REACH’s team provides equitable support to connect people who are otherwise completely disconnected from services and experiencing homelessness with the range of help they need – everything from food and clothing to medical care, shelter, and mental health and/or substance use treatment. People of Color are disproportionally represented in this community. We respect REACH and honor the work they do to center equity in their mission to deliver accessible services to homeless individuals and families, treating them with the dignity they deserve.
REACH demonstrates a strong commitment to creating an inclusive environment and assuring equitable treatment, access, and opportunity for all who retrieve services. We are very impressed with the organization as a whole; and we have seen specific staff deliver on the principles of equity and inclusion including Karen Salinas and Dawn Shepard. Thank you to each of you, and to all of REACH, for delivering on the commitment of equity and inclusion. You can learn more about REACH by visiting their website here.
As BLC transitions into a new year of offering service to individuals living with disabilities in Western Washington, our capacity to provide civil legal services is aided by our ability to partner with specialized organizations such as REACH so we can better fight the racialization of poverty.
This award celebrates the relationship between REACH and BLC, and our dedication to individuals with mental or physical disabilities. BLC looks forward to continuing this relationship for the benefit of the folks both of our organizations are able to serve.
BLC Equity Award
As an organization, one of our primary goals is to advance our commitment to better reflect the characteristics and experiences of our client communities. There are many organizations within our community that we can learn from and that exist as a shining example for how to operate in equity. We would like to recognize REACH and thank them publicly for partnering with us to fight the racialization of poverty.
Why do we have an Equity Award?
• BLC’s ability to make legal advocacy accessible to people living in the community is based on our ability to establish and maintain strong partnerships with community-based organizations.
• BLC is committed to strengthening our relationships with community organizations that, like BLC, are led by and built for people who reflect the experiences of the people we are built to serve.
• To share our platform, stage, and microphone with partner organizations that amplify the voice of our clients and fight against the racialization of poverty.
• To publicly recognize the good work of our community partners.
• To raise awareness in the community about the impressive work of our partner organizations.
Criteria for Selection:
• The award must go to a nonprofit organization or an individual who works at a nonprofit.
• The recipient must have an explicit commitment to race equity work.
• The recipient must be a community partner of BLC.
• The recipient must directly or indirectly alleviate poverty and reflect our client population.
• The recipient must hold values that match the values that drive BLC.
We believe that the partnership between REACH and BLC sets the gold standard for how and why a client-centered partnership works well.
If you want to make a donation to support our legal aid, please visit our donation page now. We need your help to raise $45,000 between now and March 31st through our online fundraising campaign, Spring Into Action. To learn more, visit our fundraising page.