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Dear <<First Name>>,

If you’ve been following our updates over the last few months, it’s probably not a surprise that one of the most pressing issues facing our clients is the stigma that comes with having a criminal record. (There's also a significant and growing need from clients who need legal help after the death of a loved one.)

Our neighbors who have been arrested face barriers that stifle a sense of dignity and purpose and lock many in a cycle of poverty, even if those arrests never resulted in a guilty plea or conviction.
 
In today’s newsletter you’ll hear from one of our clients in exactly this situation. A father of three and father-figure to others in his community, Mr. G persevered for decades to pursue a career path that matched his conviction and provided for his family. Though he was qualified, he was turned away from job opportunities over and over again. But he didn’t give up, and by God’s grace, CLADC’s attorneys were able to get his record sealed.

You can hear from Mr. G below about what this means to him.
 
I also have the pleasure of introducing you to Jeremy McClain, CLADC’s new Ministry Advisor. You can read more about this important role and Jeremy’s partnership with us below.


I thank God for the ways you partner with CLADC to help people thrive. When you help keep families in safe homes, remove barriers to meaningful employment, and empower others to secure their end-of-life plans, the ripple effects go far beyond those individuals. Thank you.

As always, I'd love to hear from you. Reply and let me know if you have any questions about our work and let us know what's been encouraging you.
 
Gratefully, 


  
  Whitney King
  Executive Director



 
Client Testimonial: "My life and freedom were restored."

Mr. G is a father of three and a father figure to others in his community. He studied criminal justice and volunteered at his daughter's school. He had never been convicted of or pled guilty to a crime, yet arrests from years before resulted in jobs being revoked, interviews halted, and a barrier in pursuing his passion: a career in law enforcement.

Mr. G was scheduled to speak at CLADC's Client Story Breakfast last month, which was cancelled due to a death in his family. He has graciously agreed to share his story here.

Tell us about yourself and what brought you to CLADC.

I am a 41-year-old Black man, born and raised in Washington, DC. As a teen and young adult it was hard for me, I hit some very rough patches in my life. I was arrested several times from age 14-30, but I was never tried, convicted, or pled guilty to a crime.

As I got older, I realized having all those charges on my background always held me back from getting a good job to make a better living for myself and my children. So I had to make a change and find a way to get the charges removed. I have made plenty of attempts myself to get the process done but had no luck until I reached out to Christian Legal Aid!

What happened after you got in touch with CLADC?

When I reached out to Christian Legal Aid of DC, the intake was a breath of fresh air when I spoke to them. They understood my concern and listened to my whole life story over the phone. After hearing my story, we said a wonderful prayer and I felt a sense of relief. I was encouraged that the process was going to finally going to happen. CLADC continued to keep in contact with me every step of the way. The process took about 1 year to seal my record due to the pandemic.

 
What difference has this made in your life?

Before getting my record sealed, I had been working to get a career with the police department, but they repeatedly told me that I needed to clean up my record. With my record cleared, I was able to go back to school, apply to join the police department, and now I am currently in training. 

My life feels reborn again. I feel like a productive citizen now. Christian Legal Aid restored my life and freedom. I owe it to God, Christian Legal Aid, and myself for never giving up on a second chance at life.

What would you tell someone else who is facing similar challenges?

For anyone who has charges on their record, I would say to never feel like your life is over. There is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Never give up and keep pushing to restore your freedom if you want to make a change. It’s never too late for a change in life. I truly encourage anyone to contact Christian Legal Aid for help with this.

I want to personally thank everyone that helped me through the whole process of sealing my record. I truly appreciate CLADC and will never forget the team that helped me. I love you all and thank you. God bless you all.

 
Introducing CLADC's Ministry Advisor: Jeremy McClain

We're thrilled to announce that Jeremy McClain has joined CLADC as our Ministry Advisor over the next year. In this role, Jeremy will support our team as we seek to grow in faithfulness to Christ and more effectively provide legal services and demonstrate the gospel to our clients.

Jeremy was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, and graduated from Howard University in 2007. In 2009, while working as an engineer, he began to search for ways to serve under-resourced and at-risk communities and joined the staff of Daybreak Ministries. He left engineering to work full-time with Daybreak and after seven years with Daybreak Ministries, the Lord called Jeremy to plant Mercy of Christ Fellowship Church to serve the Lincoln Heights and Deanwood areas of Washington, DC.

Jeremy is married to his wonderful wife, Tiffany, and the Lord has blessed them with four wonderful children.

"On behalf of our Board, we greatly appreciate the addition of Pastor McClain as our Ministry Advisor. He will help us remain focused on why we do what we do in the name of Christ. He also provides deeper perspective on the real needs of the communities within DC that we aim to serve". -Jonathan Ng, CLADC Board Chair

Join our Prayer Team
What We're Reading & Listening To

Here are few things that are inspiring our team, and we'd love to hear from you. What's been feeding your mind and heart? Reply to this email and let us know.

Lindsay: The Emotionally Healthy Woman by Geri Scazzero. This book has helped make my 'yes' my 'yes' and my 'no' my 'no' and honor God in all that I do! The author shares how emotions that may seem 'off limits' for Christians are invitations to grow, have healthier relationships, and connect with God on a deeper level.
 

Julia: Elisabeth Elliot's Secure in the Everlasting Arms.  One reading that stood out to me was called "What to do Next."  It was a great reminder that my job is to obey God's word, even in the smallest of tasks. 

Whitney:  An interview with artist Makoto Fujimura and lawyer Haijin Shim called "Beauty from Ashes" explores the relationship between justice and beauty, repair and renewal, and what inspires us to create. 
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