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Christian Legal Aid of the District of Columbia Newsletter | Vol. 5
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January 2016 

Christian Legal Aid of DC Newsletter
INTRODUCING OUR NEW HIRE
Rob Rose
In his own words, Rob Rose shares the story of how he came to be the new legal director of CLADC:

As some of you know, my name is Rob Rose, and I’ve been working with CLADC since this past July. I began as a volunteer.  In early August, CLADC brought me on as a part-time consultant. And then, this past December, the ministry hired me to be its legal director. It’s been an exciting ride, and I feel like it’s just getting started!

I grew up in Paterson, N.J., a depressed inner-city located about 20 miles outside of New York City. My father bounced back-and-forth between being a struggling actor and a school teacher, my mother a stay-at-home mom and then a bookkeeper. After four years in a substandard public school system, my parents sent me to a private Christian school in the ‘burbs. Through living in a poor area and going to school in a wealthy one, I came to have a number of both lower and upper-class friends. This dichotomy of experience gave me confidence that I could succeed and it gave me empathy for the poor.

After graduating from Ramapo College of New Jersey in 2007, I started law school at Regent University in Virginia Beach. I was a professing Christian, but the Lord wasn’t near the top of my priority list. He played second fiddle to partying and selfish ambition. Nonetheless, I applied myself, got good grades, and landed a job with a small firm in Norfolk practicing civil litigation. I passed the bar, started making good money, and was quickly tasked with taking depositions and arguing motions hearings—stuff generally reserved for senior associates or partners, at least at big firms. It was stressful, yet novel and exciting. But truth be told, I liked telling people I was a lawyer way more than I liked being one.

As the job novelty wore off, I began to feel increasingly dissatisfied and at times even depressed. At the same time, God was working in my life, renewing my relationship with Him through various struggles. In 2013, I began to volunteer with two homeless outreach ministries in Virginia Beach. The second was almost—almost—a full-service homeless provider. They provided food, clothing, housing, and medical-related services. But no legal services! I saw an opening—one that inspired me. On two or three occasions, I took a case pro bono and found it rewarding. By late 2014, I got the idea to start a Christian legal aid chapter or office in Hampton Roads.

I connected with the Christian Legal Society. They suggested that I attend one of CLADC’s Saturday legal clinics, which I did in April 2015.  By this time I had made plans to leave my private practice job at the end of May. At the clinic, I met our executive director, Tim Bosson. It was (professional) love at first sight, and the rest was history. Ha ha. Not quite, but close. In wrapping up my story, I’ll leave you with a lesson I learned: God’s guidance is most noticeable when we take action. He can’t guide a missile in storage. It needs to launch.

Thanks for your continued support and interest in CLADC! I hope to meet more of you soon.
Client Story
 
The Lord has been gracious to lead many deserving clients with great needs to us this year. Meet Dee (not her real name), one of those clients. She’s a sweet, spirited lady in her 60s who helps care for her elderly father. She lives in subsidized housing in SE. In 2014, her neighborhood was ranked as the 22nd most dangerous one in the entire country. Since moving there in 2009, her apartment has had myriad problems: rodent infestation, mold issues, uneven flooring, HVAC issues, etc.

Last December, she came to our Southeast White House clinic where she met with a small group of our volunteers, including our clinic director, Emily Maloney. By the time Dee came to us, she had already filed a case against her landlord. But she clearly needed assistance with it.

Thereafter, we visited her home to inspect it themselves and agreed to represent her. Last week, we were fortunate enough to retain a former city official who has extensive professional experience in both home and building inspection. He inspected the unit and agreed to serve as Dee’s expert witness! While the matter is three months from trial, we hope to ultimately have the landlord make several repairs to her unit, and perhaps reimburse her for past rent as well. Pray for us as we continue to work this case. Pray for Dee, too, as she struggles with frustration and anxiety due to the poor living conditions.
End of Year Giving Report

Going in to the last day of the year, we needed to raise $1,336 to maximize the $30,000 in matching donations that were pledged.

Praise God on December 31, we blew past the needed amount and ended up raising $5,455!!

This allowed us to meet our budget for 2015 and has positioned us well for our work in 2016.

Thank you to everyone who donated!

To save on costs, we e-mailed our end of year donation statements.  If you did not receive one or have questions, please let Tim know at
tim.bosson@christianlegalaid-dc.org. 

Thank you again to everyone who donated to support this good work!
VOLUNTEER ORIENTATION

February 6
10am to noon

 
We're holding our first-ever volunteer orientation. We will spend about half the time covering general topics (how and why we do what we do) and the other half giving a primer on specific practice areas we regularly see. We would like all volunteers—new or seasoned—to attend an orientation. Going forward, we plan to host them once a quarter. If you’ve never volunteered, this is a perfect way to find out what we do and gain some “street law” knowledge to help you feel better equipped to serve. To get a head count, please let us know you're coming. Hope to see you there!

RSVP to
tim.bosson@christianlegalaid-dc.org
by Thursday, February 4.
 
Legal Clinics
 
APPA Mission Center
Second Saturday of of the month | 9:30am-12pm (volunteers arrive at 9am)
Location: Third Street Church of God, 1204 3rd St. NW
Metro: Mt. Vernon Square
Clinic Codirectors: Yodi Hailemariam, DJ Choi
 
Southeast White House
Third Saturday of the month | 9:30am-12pm
(volunteers arrive at 9am)

Location: 2909 Pennsylvania Ave., SE
Metro: none nearby; free street parking; contact CLADC at
202-710-0592 or info@christianlegalaid-dc.org prior to clinic to arrange for transportation
Clinic Codirectors: Tiffany Johnson, Brandon Smith
 
Central Union Mission
Last Saturday of the month | 10am-12pm
(volunteers arrive at 9:30am)

Location: 65 Massachusetts Ave., NW
Metro: Union Station
Clinic Codirectors: Sam Logan, Davy Trewolla
Support CLADC
 
Regular Support: Would you prayerfully consider being a regular supporter of CLADC?

One Time Support: Small amounts make a BIG difference. $40 covers the overhead costs of a weekly clinic. $60 covers the filing fees for a person who needs to expunge a misdemeanor. $160 covers the filing fees to seek a restraining order. $2,500 covers the living expenses of our executive director for one month.

We are grateful for your support. To donate, visit us online at
christianlegalaid-dc.org. If you prefer to write a check, please make it out to the Christian Legal Aid of the District of Columbia and send it to:
 
CLADC
PO Box 70555
Washington, D.C.
20024

All donations are tax deductible.  
Note from the editor: Thank you for reading this newsletter! Lawyers all over the globe are seeking justice for the world's most vulnerable people. I'd like to tell you about my friend Jim Gash, a professor at Pepperdine University School of Law (my alma mater). A few years ago, Jim represented a Ugandan boy who was languishing in prison for two murders he didn't commit. Jim's book, Divine Collision, tells the story of what happened. A preview screening of REMAND, a documentary about the Ugandan justice system, will take place on Feb. 18 at National Community Church theater (535 8th St., SE) at 7pm. I will be there and hope to see you, too.

If you have a devotional you would like to submit for this newsletter, a story you would like to see featured, or any questions, comments, or concerns, email Jenny Rough at jenny.rough@jennyrough.com or call (703) 254-6416. Devotional submissions should be no more than 200 words and include a Bible verse, reflections, and a prayer. 

Copyright © 2016 Christian Legal Aid of the District of Columbia, All rights reserved.

This is the Christian Legal Aid of the District of Columbia's newsletter designed to reach those who wish to pray for us, support us, or would like to stay in touch with us.

Our mailing address is:
Christian Legal Aid of the District of Columbia | PO Box 70555 | Washington, DC | 20024

Our phone number is:
(202) 710-0592

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