Last year, Just Neighbors saw a record number of lives changed by the work of our attorneys, staff, and volunteers; we helped the most families last year than any other year in our 26 year history! We were only able to do that because of YOUR financial support. Coming out of the pandemic, there were many challenges, including extremely high backlogs of case processing by USCIS and immigration courts, meaning adjudication of cases took much longer than usual. And while so much attention is focused on the border, much less is paid to the increasing number of immigrants who are seeking legal services.
The Washington Metropolitan area is the largest per capita resettlement area for unaccompanied minor children and Afghan refugees, most of whom have pathways to documentation, but require very complicated and time-consuming casework. As a result, our requests for service were up by 11% and continue to rise.
While we have continued to help more and more immigrants, the demand far outweighs our capacity to serve. We continue to seek additional funding to support our ongoing efforts and increasing need.
Also coming out of the pandemic, we have been rebuilding our volunteer program, including legal clinics, community outreach, volunteer attorneys and front-office support. More clients mean more need for document translation and interpretation, including languages beyond Spanish (Dari, Pashtu, Haitian Creole and indigenous Mayan languages). Because of our incredible volunteers, we have been able to minimize the costs of these services.
We actively advocated for issues that affect immigrants in our community on the federal, state, and local levels, pushing congress to pass the Afghan Adjustment Act (so far unsuccessful), supporting the establishment and/or renewal of Temporary Protected Status and championing humane border policies.
Meanwhile, we also made reforms internally by examining our own salary equity practices. With the significant growth over the last 5 years, we needed to address issues like living wages, equity across job types, recognition of language capabilities, and more. After a several month long process, we implemented phase 1 of a two year pay restructure, as well as non-negotiable salary structure for new hires based on actual skills and experience.
As we look ahead at 2023, we are working to increase our capacity to serve more unaccompanied minor children, bolster our work in the rural footprint, and build more support for our work in Maryland.
We are inspired by the resilience of our clients, the commitment of our volunteers, and the generosity of our donors. We are blessed with a dedicated, passionate, outstanding staff. We look forward to helping many more of our immigrant neighbors thrive.
We are grateful for your support and look forward to another strong year.
Our Greatest Accomplishments
Legal clinics were relaunched in Annandale and new clinics were held in Baltimore, Silver Spring, Warrenton, Winchester and Waynesboro to meet clients where they are and meet the demand for advice and counsel clinics for Afghan refugees and Cameroonians seeking TPS.
We implemented a new Client Advocate position to provide support for Just Neighbors' many clients who are survivors of domestic violence. Clients now have access to counseling in Spanish, as well as case-work to help with additional needs like food, shelter, obtaining drivers licenses, and more.
Just Neighbors’ Racial Equity Committee continues to work to advance racial equity in all aspects of our work, including a salary equity initiative and greater transparency for a more equitable and safe workplace.
Our Legal Defense for Immigrant Children and Youth program began as a response to our region's highest number of unaccompanied minors resettling per capita in the country. Just Neighbors now has a full-time attorney dedicated to providing removal defense for minors in Virginia.
The Immigrants We Serve and Their Stories
In 2022, 2,046 immigrant families asked for our assistance. Of those, we were only able to provide immigration legal services to 25% of the people who need it. Each person and their family has a unique immigration journey, and we are proud to have assisted them along the way.
Top 10 Countries
Advice and Counsel0%
TYPES OF HUMANITARIAN CASES
By focusing on humanitarian cases, Just Neighbors staff attorneys and volunteers serve the community's most vulnerable immigrants. Our clients are:
- Refugees and asylees
- Survivors of domestic violence and violent crimes
- DREAMers (immigrants brought to the U.S. as children)
- Those issued Temporary Protected Status (TPS) due to armed conflict or natural disasters in their homelands
- Families seeking general advice about their status
- Trafficking victims
13% live in Maryland
57% live in Northern Virginia
29% live in Rural Virginia
1% live in Washington D.C.
WHAT DO JUST NEIGHBORS CLIENTS SAY?
We can spend all day telling you about Just Neighbors and how we think we're positively impacting our clients. Instead, see what they have to say about their own experiences.
Thank you so much for all your help with everything. You were a really bright light that God sent to me in a very dark time of my life. I am very thankful for you and all your hard work with me!
I owe everything I have now to Just Neighbors. at a time when I was at my lowest point and I just gave birth and had nowhere to go, they were there to start the process to help me and my immigration status in the US. Without JN I wouldn't be able to provide for my child and we would be living on the streets or worse they would have taken my child from me.
Changed my life drastically, I'm able to work gov't jobs, about to join fire dept and becoming an EMT, able to contribute to the community, provide for my family and my future family. Because I was able to get my work permit, I was also able to get medical insurance, own my own apartment, I'm self-sufficient. Overall great service!
I'm grateful and thankful that I have Just Neighbors.
We Love Our Volunteers!
Without our volunteers, Just Neighbors would not be able to serve as many immigrant families as we do every year. The incredible generosity of our team of 178 volunteers helps to answer every single request for assistance we receive to make sure every single person leaves Just Neighbors with more resources than before. Without them, we would not have the same impact. We cannot thank them enough for their time! We truly appreciate each and every one of you!
How This is Made Possible
Clients at Just Neighbors are charged a single $100 consultation fee to receive immigration legal services. A private attorney would charge up to $10,000 per immigration case, with the price drastically increasing with the complexity of the case.
Regardless of who you are of what your case includes, Just Neighbors does not charge anyone more than $100. We truly wouldn't be able to do this without generous donors, foundations, faith communities, businesses, and government support.
TOTAL FUNDS RAISED IN 2022
A BIG THANK YOU TO ALL OF OUR SUPPORTERS
ACT for Alexandria
AILA Washington DC Chapter
Alexandria Rotary Foundation
Annandale Christian Community for Action
Association of American Railroads
Baltimore - Washington Conference of the UMC
Chevy Chase UWF
Community Foundation for Northern Virginia
Community Foundation of Central Blue Ridge
Community Foundation of The Northern Shenandoah Valley
Faith Lutheran Church
First Christian Church
Good Shepherd Catholic Church
Good Shepherd UMM
Harrisonburg District of the VAUMC
Harrisonburg District UWF
Immigration Law & Justice Network
Kiwanis Club of Alexandria
Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence
Mason Hirst Foundation
Morrison & Foerster Foundation
Mount Olivet UMC
MTFA Design + Preservation
Northern Piedmont Community Foundation
NOVA District Conference of the UMC
Paxton Memorial Trust
Presbyterian Women of the National Capital Presbytery
Prisca Circle at John Calvin Presbyterian
Resurrection EV Lutheran Church ELCA
Shenandoah River District of the VAUMC
St. Anne's Episcopal Church
St. John Neumann Church
St. Mark Catholic Church
St. Mary of Sorrows
STRADA Education Network
The Closet of the Greater Herndon Area
The CO3 Fund
The Kresge Foundation
The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation
United Christian Parish
United Way of the National Capital Area
United Way of the Northern Shenandoah Valley
UUC of Reston
UUC of Loudoun
UUC of Rockville
Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services
Virginia Department of Social Services
Virginia Law Foundation
Virginia United Methodist Foundation
Westminster Presbyterian Church
Meet the Team
At the heart of Just Neighbors is a team of twelve board members, ten attorneys, six administrators, and one client advocate. This team has moved mountains for countless families, changing Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia for the better one immigration case at a time. We are endlessly grateful for each person's hard work, dedication, and compassion. Thank you for being a part of Just Neighbors!
Director of Legal Services
Immigration Attorney DC & MD
Immigration Attorney of Northern Virginia
Managing Attorney of Northern Virginia