Mass. Bar Foundation Gives $2.3M to 56 Mass. Nonprofits

September 13, 2018 — The Massachusetts Bar Foundation recently announced it awarded $2.3 million to 56 nonprofit organizations across the state to support 84 programs that address domestic violence, child advocacy, housing, immigration, consumer debt, and other issues.

“Our grant recipients provide the front-line soldiers in the state-wide battle for the equal administration of civil justice,” said Harvey Weiner, president of the Massachusetts Bar Foundation (MBF). “The MBF is proud to have had a vital role for over 54 years in supporting these legal programs, particularly now during these trying times.”

MBF is one of three charitable entities in Massachusetts that distributes funds from the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court’s Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts (IOLTA) program to support projects that offer civil legal services to people who could not afford them or which aim to improve the administration of justice.

The MBF grants support projects that offer civil legal services to people who could not afford them or improve the administration of justice in Massachusetts.

Grants providing direct legal services include support to domestic violence programs, special education advocacy, humanitarian immigration assistance, and homelessness prevention. Grants to improve the administration of justice support efforts such as court-connected mediation and lawyer of the day programs.

Among those receiving grants were the following:

  • Cape Cod Dispute Resolution Center, Orleans, $18,000 to provide summary process mediation in Falmouth and Orleans District Courts, small claims mediation in Falmouth and Nantucket District Courts, and a civil conciliation program in Barnstable District Court.

  • Dismas House of Central Massachusetts, Worcester, $18,500 to provide assistance to recently released ex-prisoners on any outstanding civil legal issues that are barriers to successful community reintegration.

  • Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition , Boston, $19,000 for the Berkshire Immigrant Center to conduct a semi-monthly walk-in clinic offering clients consultation with an immigration attorney.

  • MetroWest Legal Services, Framingham, $22,000 to support an attorney who will provide advice, brief services, outreach, and representation to parents whose children are not receiving the services they need to succeed academically.

  • North Shore Community Action Programs, Peabody, $18,000 to provide direct representation to low-income residents of Essex County who are faced with eviction, housing discrimination, and termination or denial of subsidized housing.

  • Quabbin Mediation, Orange, $5,000 to provide free mediation services for small claims cases in Orange, Palmer, and Eastern Hampshire District Courts.

  • Safe Passage, Northampton, $20,000 to provide legal assistance to low-income survivors of domestic violence. Services will be provided by a staff attorney and a panel of reduced fee attorneys who provide legal consultation, advice, and representation to clients.

  • South Coastal Counties Legal Services, Fall River, $35,000 to provide legal representation in special education and school discipline matters to children of color, children with disabilities, and English language learners enrolled in the public school systems of Fall River, Brockton, and New Bedford.