Just Neighbors Annual Report

2022

Picture of Executive Director Erin McKenney

ERIN MCKENNEY

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Friends,

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.

Erin

Our Greatest Accomplishments

Relaunched Immigration Legal Clinics

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.

Launched a Client Advocacy Program

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.

Practiced Racial and Salary Equity

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.

Expanded our Youth Program

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.

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4
5

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.

Clients
Humanitarian-Based Cases

Top 10 Countries

of Origin

 

El Salvador

Honduras

Mexico

Afghanistan

Guatemala

Cameroon

Cuba

Ethiopia

Venezuela

Bolivia

  • Escape Violence

    0%
  • Advice and Counsel

    0%
  • Work Authorization

    0%
  • Family Reunification

    0%
  • Citizenship

    0%

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

MARYLAND

13% live in Maryland

VIRGINIA

57% live in Northern Virginia

29% live in Rural Virginia

WASHINGTON D.C.

1% live in Washington D.C.

Success at Just Neighbors Means Success for Immigrants

Click on each photo to learn more about the stories of some of the people who took their immigration journeys with Just Neighbors in 2022.

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.

I just got my own private health insurance and I can call the police if I need them. I am not walking in the street in fear anymore. I don't need to walk with my head down, I can lift my eyes and see people's faces. This means so much to me. Thank you.

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!

Volunteer Attorney Hours
Volunteer Hours
$
Value of Volunteer Hours
5[1]
8[1]
3[1]
1[1]
4[1]
7[1]

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

$
Government Grants
%
Foundations
%
Individual Donors
%
Faith Communities and Businesses
%
Client Fees
%

A BIG THANK YOU TO ALL OF OUR SUPPORTERS

100WomenStrong

Accotink UUC

ACT for Alexandria

AILA Washington DC Chapter

Alexandria Rotary Foundation

Annandale Christian Community for Action

Annandale UWF

Arlington County

Association of American Railroads

Baltimore - Washington Conference of the UMC

Bethany UWF

Bridgewater UWF

Centreville UWF

Chevy Chase UWF

Community Foundation for Northern Virginia

Community Foundation of Central Blue Ridge

Community Foundation of The Northern Shenandoah Valley

Crossroads UMC

Dumbarton UMC

Fairfax County

Fairlington UMC

Fairlington UMM

Faith Lutheran Church

First Christian Church

Gannett Foundation

Good Shepherd Catholic Church

Good Shepherd UMM

Harrisonburg District of the VAUMC

Harrisonburg District UWF

Immigration Law & Justice Network

Kaiser Permanente

Kendra Scott

Kiwanis Club of Alexandria

LaCire

Loudoun County

Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence

Mason Hirst Foundation

Meyer Foundation

Montgomery County

Morrison & Foerster Foundation

Mount Olivet UMC

MTFA Design + Preservation

Northern Piedmont Community Foundation

NOVA District Conference of the UMC

PATH Foundation

PAX Community

Paxton Memorial Trust

Presbyterian Women of the National Capital Presbytery

Prisca Circle at John Calvin Presbyterian

QMT Associates

RAICES

Reisterstown UMC

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

SupportEd

The Closet of the Greater Herndon Area

The CO3 Fund

The Kresge Foundation

The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation

Titmus 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

Wingswept

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!

Staff

Farah Ashurova

Program Development Specialist

Tori Andrea Babington

Managing Attorney of Rural Programs

Stephanie Barnes

Chief Operating Officer

Julia Birk

Senior Immigration Attorney of DC & MD

Eva Marie Carney

Senior Immigration Attorney of Northern Virginia

Sasia Coward

Office and Volunteer Manager

Eric Dillon

Senior Development Director

Katie Fourmy

Managing Attorney of Removal Defense

Mary Elizabeth Maffei

Immigration Attorney of Northern Virginia

Keila Martinez

Front Office Administrator and Client Advocate

Erin McKenney

Executive Director

Sarah Selim Milad

Managing Attorney of DC & MD

Ashley Pechinski

Development Coordinator

Picture of Director of Legal Services Dominique Poirier

Dominique Poirier

Director of Legal Services

Allison Square

Allison Rothschild

Immigration Attorney DC & MD

Virginia Square 2021

Virginia Ruiz

Immigration Attorney of Northern Virginia

Cristina Square 2021

Cristina Sproul

Managing Attorney of Northern Virginia

Board of Directors

Lisa Trangsrud

Treasurer

Anne Wilson

Board Member

Mike Wilson

Board Member

Follow us on Social Media to Stay Updated on Everything at Just Neighbors!

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🌍 Embracing the beauty of our planet today and every day! Happy Earth Day! Lets continue to cherish, protect, and preserve this incredible home we all share. 🌿💚 #EarthDay #LoveOurPlanet #JustNeighbors 

¡Abrazando la belleza de nuestro planeta hoy y todos los días! ¡Feliz Día de la Tierra! Sigamos valorando, protegiendo y preservando este increíble hogar que todos compartimos

#JustNeighbors
🕊️ Wishing you and your loved ones a Passover filled with joy, peace, and cherished traditions. May this celebration of freedom inspire hope and unity for all. 

Chag Pesach Sameach! Deseándote a ti y a tus seres queridos una Pascua llena de alegría, paz y tradiciones queridas. Que esta celebración de la libertad inspire esperanza y unidad para todos. ¡Chag Pesach Sameach! 🌟🍷 #Passover #ChagPesachSameach #CelebrationOfFreedom #JustNeighbors
Get a Head Start & Make a Difference: Spring2ACTion Early Giving is Open!

Spring2ACTions Early Giving is here! This is your chance to show your support for your organization before Giving Day arrives. Your early donation will still count towards the final Giving Day total, helping to reach fundraising goals and make a real impact in our community.

But wait, theres more! During Early Giving (April 10-24), the organization with the most donors and the most dollars raised will win a $500 bonus prize.

Dont miss out! Donate early and help us win while making a difference!

Also, every dollar donated will be matched up to $20,000! Click the link to give today: https://www.spring2action.org/organizations/just-neighbors

#justneighbors #spring2action
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¡Las donaciones anticipadas ya están aquí! Las donaciones anticipadas son una oportunidad para que los donantes hagan su donación Spring2ACTion por adelantado, sin dejar de contarla para el total del Día Para Dar. ¿Por qué debería entusiasmarse con las donaciones anticipadas? No solo es una oportunidad para obtener una ventaja en la recaudación de fondos para su organización, sino que su organización puede ganar $500 si tiene la mayor cantidad de donantes y dólares durante este período (del 10 al 24 de abril).

Además, ¡cada dólar donado se igualará hasta $20,000! Haga clic en el enlace para donar hoy: https://www.spring2action.org/organizations/just-neighbors

#justneighbors #spring2action
📢 Calling all #ImmigrantWorkers, families, and allies! May 1st is International Workers Day, where we raise our voices and demand justice. Lets honor essential workers and push @POTUS for Temporary Protective Status and DED. See you at Union Station at 11:30 am! 
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📢 ¡Llamando a todos los #ImmigrantWorkers, familias y aliados! El 1 de mayo es el Día Internacional de los Trabajadores, donde alzamos la voz y exigimos justicia. Honremos a los trabajadores esenciales e impulsemos @POTUS por el Estatus de Protección Temporal y el DED. ¡Nos vemos en Union Station a las 11:30 am! 

#justneighbors #immigrantworkers
Early Giving is here! Early Giving is an opportunity for donors to make their Spring2ACTion donation in advance, while still having it count toward Giving Day totals. So why should you be excited about Early Giving? Not only is it an opportunity to get a head start on fundraising for your organization, but your organization can win $500 if your organization has the most donors and dollars during this period (April 10-24).

Also, every dollar donated will be matched up tp $20,000! Click the link to give today: https://www.spring2action.org/organizations/just-neighbors

#justneighbors #spring2action 
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¡Las donaciones anticipadas ya están aquí! Las donaciones anticipadas son una oportunidad para que los donantes hagan su donación Spring2ACTion por adelantado, sin dejar de contarla para el total del Día Para Dar. ¿Por qué debería entusiasmarse con las donaciones anticipadas? No solo es una oportunidad para obtener una ventaja en la recaudación de fondos para su organización, sino que su organización puede ganar $500 si tiene la mayor cantidad de donantes y dólares durante este período (del 10 al 24 de abril).

Además, ¡cada dólar donado se igualará hasta $20,000! Haga clic en el enlace para donar hoy: https://www.spring2action.org/organizations/just-neighbors
Did you know that April marks the start of the National Sexual Assault Awareness Month? Its crucial to educate ourselves on the importance of consent, boundaries, and supporting survivors. Together, we can create a safer and more respectful society. Lets raise awareness and take action to prevent sexual violence.

Join us in spreading awareness, educating others, and supporting survivors this month. Together, we can make a difference.

¿Sabías que abril marca el inicio del Mes Nacional de Concientización sobre la Agresión Sexual? Es crucial educarnos sobre la importancia de consentimiento, los límites y el apoyo de los sobrevivientes. Juntos, podemos crear una sociedad más segura y respetuosa. Concienciemos y tomemos medidas para prevenir la violencia sexual.

Únete a nosotros para crear conciencia, educar a otros y apoyar sobrevivientes este mes. Juntos, podemos marcar la diferencia.
#JustNeighbors

#JustNeighbors #madewithpredisai
Great news! @DHSgov issued a new regulation that will keep immigrants in the workforce.

Now, 800,000 immigrants can rest assured they wont lose their work authorization because of USCIS backlogs!
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¡Una gran noticia! @DHSgov emitió una nueva regulación que mantendrá a los inmigrantes en la fuerza laboral.

¡Ahora, 800,000 miles de inmigrantes pueden estar seguros de que no perderán su autorización de trabajo sólo por los retrasos en el USCIS!
La corte de inmigración y que esperar durante las audiencias. Esta es la dirección de la ubicación: 2601 Mt Vernon Ave, Alexandria, VA 22301.
🌻Spring has sprung, and Just Neighbors has been springing into action!🌻 

This March we’ve had several successful clinics in the DMV area, all thanks to the help of our wonderful attorneys and volunteers.💚

Want a sneak peek on what impactful events we’re working on next? Save the date for our Spring2Action fundraising on April 24th — https://www.spring2action.org.

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🌻¡Ha llegado la primavera y Just Neighbors ha entrado en acción!🌻

Este marzo hemos tenido varias clínicas exitosas en el área del DMV, todo gracias a la ayuda de nuestros maravillosos abogados y voluntario. 💚 

¿Quieres un adelanto de los próximos eventos impactantes? Marca la fecha en tu calendario para nuestra Spring2Action recaudación de fondos el 24 de abril: https://www.spring2action.org

#justneighbors #dmv #immigration #nonprofit
Returning to Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban, Yalda became a beacon of inspiration for her younger cousins, proving that girls could excel in academics and beyond. With unwavering dedication, she earned degrees in Law and Political Science, followed by a masters in International Relations.

Yaldas journey took an unexpected turn when political instability disrupted her career aspirations. However, her path to success was reignited when she found Just Neighbors. With their support, she obtained asylum, paving the way for a permanent residency and citizenship.

Today, Yalda is grateful for the opportunities America offers and is pursuing her professional dreams with newfound hope. Her story exemplifies the transformative impact of organizations like Just Neighbors in empowering immigrants to thrive in their new home. 🌟 #YaldaStory #JustNeighbors #Refugee
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Al regresar a Afganistán después de la caída de los talibanes, Yalda se convirtió en una luz de inspiración para sus primas menores, demostrando que las chicas pueden sobresalir en lo académico y más allá. Con inquebrantable dedicación, obtuvo dos títulos en Derecho y Ciencias Políticas, seguida con una maestría en Relaciones Internacionales.

El viaje de Yalda dio un giro inesperado cuando la inestabilidad política trastocó sus aspiraciones profesionales. Sin embargo, su camino hacia el éxito se reavivó cuando encontró Just Neighbors. Con su apoyo, obtuvo asilo, allanando el camino para una residencia permanente y la ciudadanía.

Hoy, Yalda está agradecida por las oportunidades que ofrece Estados Unidos y persigue sus sueños profesionales con una nueva esperanza. Su historia ejemplifica el impacto transformador de organizaciones como Just Neighbors al empoderar a los inmigrantes para que prosperen en su nuevo hogar. 🌟 #HistoriaDeYalda #JustNeighbors #Refugiada
TODAY IS THE DAY! 📢 Last Call for Give Choose! Time is running out to make an impact. Remember, you have until March 19, 2024, to support your chosen charity. Plus, dont forget about scheduling gifts in advance until March 18 at midnight!

🤝 Support Just Neighbors: Help us continue providing vital immigration legal services to low-income immigrants and refugees in Loudoun and Fauquier. Learn more about our mission and contribute during Give Choose.

Lets unite to create positive change! #GiveChoose #SupportLocal #MakeADifference
📢 Only one week left until Give Choose! Heres how it works: through the Give Choose website- pick Just Neighbors as your charity and donate!. https://www.givechoose.org/nonprofits/JustNeighbors?cid=0&kw=just%20neighbors&pg=1 The big day of giving is on March 19, 2024 but you can donate anytime from now until March 19th. All of the money raised during this time goes directly to helping Loudoun and Fauquier families. Learn more about our work and support our mission during Give Choose.
Lets make a difference together! #GiveChoose #SupportLocal #MakeADifference 

¡Sólo queda una semana para la campaña Give Choose! Así es como funciona: a través del sitio web de Give Choose, elija “Just Neighbors” como su organización benéfica y dona!
https://www.givechoose.org/nonprofits/JustNeighbors?cid=0&kw=just%20neighbors&pg=1
El gran día de la donación es el 19 de marzo de 2024, pero puede donar en cualquier momento desde ahora hasta el 19 de marzo. Todo el dinero recaudado durante este tiempo va directamente a ayudar a las familias de Loudoun y Fauquier. Conozca mejor nuestro trabajo y apoye nuestra misión durante la campaña Give Choose. ¡Hagamos juntos la diferencia! #GiveChoose #AyudaLocal #HagaLaDiferencia
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