Just Neighbors Annual Report

2023

Picture of Executive Director Erin McKenney

ERIN MCKENNEY

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Friends,

In 2023, Just Neighbors saw record growth in clients served, cases filed, calls received, clients requesting services, and unfortunately, clients referred out. What does this mean? While we continue to increase our capacity, the need for immigration legal help far exceeds our ability to provide it.

With a 27% increase in call volume (even with essentially closing intakes in December) immigrants are hitting brick walls in trying to get much needed assistance with their immigration applications. This isn’t limited to Just Neighbors. Even many private attorneys are at capacity, especially for asylum and removal defense.

There are many reasons for this problem. The backlog of cases being adjudicated by the US Customs and Immigration Service (USCIS) has reached 3 million, meaning wait time for work permits, green cards and visas has, in some cases tripled from a year ago, extending wait times from months to years! This is exacerbated by the number of immigrants crossing the border fleeing war, climate change, persecution, gangs, cartels, economic collapse and more.

The Washington metropolitan area and our entire footprint spanning from Waynesboro, Virginia to Baltimore, Maryland continues to be one of the largest per capita resettlement areas for immigrants and refugees. That pattern is unlikely to change anytime soon.

We have been fortunate to rebuild our volunteer support post-pandemic, particularly our volunteer attorneys, which stretches our budget by more than 50%.

We have continued to actively advocate 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.

As we begin 2024 working on our new strategic plan, we recognize the need to continue growth, but that is dependent on funding. We are excited by the opportunities which lie ahead but recognize that we are dependent on the great generosity of ALL of our funders: Local, state, and federal governments, foundations, faith communities, businesses and the many individuals who have so generously supported us in the past.

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

Expanded Client Outreach

Just Neighbors expanded client outreach efforts, translating all communications into Spanish for language accessibility, streaming removal defense presentations on Facebook Live, connecting with immigrant communities at immigrants’ rights rallies, participating in advocacy days, and more.

Expanded Immigration Legal Clinics

Just Neighbors significantly expanded the legal clinic program across Virginia, Maryland, and DC to continue meeting the high demand for advice and counsel consultations, hosting a total of 44 legal clinics throughout our footprint.

Increased Immigrant Advocacy

As more states impose anti-immigrant legislation, the Just Neighbors community advocated for immigrants’ rights on the local, state, and federal level to make the communities we live in (and beyond) more equitable and just for all, regardless of immigration status.

Launched Medical Legal Partnerships

Just Neighbors formally launched medical legal partnerships in Virginia to offer immigration services at medical clinics. By partnering with local clinics that serve the uninsured, Just Neighbors helps address a social determinant of health - even helping some discover a pathway to status that they believed didn’t exist for them.

6
3
4
2
1
5

The Immigrants We Serve and Their Stories

In 2023, 2,588 immigrant families asked for our assistance - a 27% increase from 2022. Of those, we were only able to provide immigration legal services to 17% 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
Guatemala
Afghanistan
Cuba
Bolivia
Cameroon
China
Ethiopia

  • Escape Violence

    0%
  • Advice and Counsel

    0%
  • Family Reunification

    0%
  • Work Authorization

    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

17% live in Maryland

VIRGINIA

52% live in Northern Virginia

30% 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 2023.

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 was able to travel to my home country and see my family that I hadn’t seen in over 30 years! Getting my green card renewed to travel had a big impact in my life. Thanks so much!

Everyone is awesome and I’m really grateful I was recommended to reach out to you guys. I am a better person today because I wasn’t alone during my darkest days, I had you.

With you, I was able to fix part of my status and thanks to your work and especially to my lawyer I now have a work permit and hopefully, if God wants, residency.

It is a blessing to have you as help in our immigrant community immigrant as family... thank you for existing. May God bless you always and all your work.

My attorney was really amazing.  She was more than an attorney; she was my friend. When I came to Just Neighbors I was depressed but now my life is so good because of Just Neighbors.  I can't thank you enough.

I do not have enough words to say how wonderful Just Neighbors is. Everyone was wonderful in helping me. I’m so happy.

When I started with Just Neighbors in 2019, I didn't know anything about U.S. law. I had three lawyers who helped me. Now I can get a job like anybody else, take any job. That has a big effect on me.

We Love Our Volunteers!

Without our volunteers, Just Neighbors would not be able to serve as many immigrant families as we do every year. In fact, they helped to extend our budget by more than 50%! The incredible generosity of our team of 268 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
6
1
4
3
5
2

How This is Made Possible

We truly wouldn't be able to serve as many immigrants and their families without generous donors, foundations, faith communities, businesses, and government support. Thank you for your continued support!

TOTAL FUNDS RAISED IN 2023

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

A BIG THANK YOU TO ALL OF OUR SUPPORTERS

100WomenStrong

Abell Foundation

Accotink UUC

ACACIA Center for Justice

ACT for Alexandria

Alexandria Fund for Human Services

Alexandria Rotary Foundation

AmazonSmile Foundation

Annandale UWF

Arlington Community Foundation

Arlington Department of Community Planning, Housing, and Development

ATA Management

Baltimore - Washington Conference of the UMC

Baltimore - Washington Conference Hispanic Latino Ministry

BASH

Bethany UWF

Centreville UWF

City of Alexandria

Clare and Don's Beach Shack

Commonwealth of Virginia

Community Foundation of Central Blue Ridge

Community Foundation of The Northern Shenandoah Valley

Crossroads UMC

Daniels Run Peace Church

Epworth UMC

Eugene & Agnes E. Meyer Foundation

Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Redeemer

Fairfax Department of Human Services

Fairlington UMC

Fairlington UMM

Fairlington UWF

Faith Lutheran Church

Faith UMC

First Christian Church

Friendship UMC

Gannett Foundation

Immanuel Presbyterian Church

Immigration Law & Justice Network

Kathleen & Eddie Hearts of Love Fund

Kiwanis Club of Alexandria

Leesburg UWF

Loudoun County

Maryland Bar Foundation

Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence

Maryland State Bar Association

Mason Hirst Foundation

Meyer Foundation

Montgomery County

Morrison & Foerster Foundation

Mount Olivet Foundation

Mount Olivet UMC

Northern Piedmont Community Foundation

NOVA District Conference of the UMC

NOVA Catholic Community

PATH Foundation

Paxton Memorial Trust (BENEFIT)

Philip L. Graham Fund

Potomac Health Foundation

Presbyterian Church USA

Resurrection Evangelical Lutheran Church

Rita Susswein Gottesman Fund

Rock Spring Congregational UCC

Sentara Cares

Severna Park UMC

Seward Group of TTR | Sotheby's

Shenandoah River District of the UMC

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 of Reston

United Way of the National Capital Area

United Way of the Northern Shenandoah Valley

Vera Institute of Justice

Virginia Department of Justice

Virginia Department of Social Services

Virginia United Methodist Foundation

Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community

Virts Miller 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!

Staff

Tori Andrea Babington

Managing Attorney of Rural Programs

Farah Ashurova

Program Development Specialist

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

Beth-in neon

Beth Hamilton

Immigration Attorney of Northern Virginia

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

Cristina Square 2021

Cristina Sproul

Managing Attorney of Northern Virginia

Board of Directors

Max Rangel

Board Member

Beth Rhyne

Board Member

Lisa Trangsrud

Treasurer

Mike Wilson

Board Member

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Thank you to all who came out to celebrate our Maryland office at Hughes United Methodist Church. We are excited about the partnerships and opportunities that this new space allows!
Todays the day!

Join us from 5:00PM-7:00PM at Hughes UMC in Wheaton, MD for the official opening of our Maryland office! Bring your families for an open house, ribbon cutting ceremony, special announcement, and light hors doeuvres.

Click the link in our bio to RSVP!
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¡Hoy es el día!

¡Únase HOY 5:00PM-7:00PM en Hughes UMC en Wheaton, MD para la apertura oficial de nuestra oficina en Maryland! Traigan a sus familias y únase para una apertura, ceremonia de corte de cinta, anuncio especial y aperitivos ligeros.

Link para RSVP en nuestro bio!

#openhouse #ribboncuttingceremony #ribboncutting #justneighbors #maryland #wheaton #dmv #moco #montgomery #montgomerycounty #md #party #family #event #celebrate #immigrant #newoffice #immigrants #immigration #asylum #tps #food
1 day to go!

Join us TOMORROW from 5:00PM-7:00PM at Hughes UMC in Wheaton, MD for the official opening of our Maryland office!

Bring your families for an open house, ribbon cutting ceremony, special announcement, and light hors doeuvres.

Click the link in our bio to RSVP!
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¡1 día para la celebración!

¡Únase MAÑANA 5:00PM-7:00PM en Hughes UMC en Wheaton, MD para la apertura oficial de nuestra oficina en Maryland!

Traigan a sus familias y únase para una apertura, ceremonia de corte de cinta, anuncio especial y aperitivos ligeros.

Link para RSVP en nuestro bio!

#openhouse #ribboncuttingceremony #ribboncutting #justneighbors #maryland #wheaton #dmv #moco #montgomery #montgomerycounty #md #party #family #event #celebrate #immigrant #newoffice #immigrants #immigration #asylum #tps #food
Only 7 days away!

Join us next week on Thursday, February 22, 2024 from 5:00PM-7:00PM at Hughes UMC in Wheaton, MD for the official opening of our Maryland office!

Bring your families for an open house, ribbon cutting ceremony, special announcement, and light hors doeuvres.

Click the link in our bio to RSVP!
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¡Sólo faltan 7 días!

¡Únase la próxima semana el jueves, el 22 de febrero, 2024 5:00PM-7:00PM en Hughes UMC en Wheaton, MD para la apertura oficial de nuestra oficina en Maryland!

Traigan a sus familias y únase para una apertura, ceremonia de corte de cinta, anuncio especial y aperitivos ligeros.

Link para registrar en nuestro bio!

#openhouse #ribboncuttingceremony #ribboncutting #justneighbors #maryland #wheaton #dmv #moco #montgomery #montgomerycounty #md #party #family #event #celebrate #immigrant #newoffice #immigrants #immigration #asylum #tps #food
Roses are red, violets are blue...

#valentines #valentinesday #vday #galentines #palentines #rose #rosesarered #violetsareblue #poem #poems #immigrant #immigration #gratitude #happyvalentinesday #celebrate #love #heart #hearts #equality #compassion #unity #hope #support #appreciation
TL;DR
Were hiring a community engagement manager, and would love to work with you!

Just Neighbors is looking for a dynamic and passionate Community Engagement Manager to help us implement community outreach and advancement strategies throughout Virginia, Maryland, and Washington DC! Join our team and help serve immigrant communities!

Swipe to see some of the responsibilities, qualifications, and benefits of working with Just Neighbors. Click the link in our bio to see the full job description.

We hope to hear from you soon!

#hiring #wearehiring #job #jobs #jobmarket #nonprofits #ngo #ngos #immigrant #immigrants #immigration #va #md #dc #virginia #nova #washingtondc #maryland #dmv #community #manager #engagement #development #justneighbors
🚨 CALL YOUR SENATORS NOW TO SAVE ASYLUM 🚨

The Senate is voting TOMORROW on their infamously draconian supplemental funding bill, which will destroy our immigration system and eliminate the rights of immigrants and asylum seekers if it passes.

Contact your Senator and tell them to PROTECT asylum and immigrants rights, and to VOTE NO on the supplemental funding bill.

Find your Senator here 👇
https://www.senate.gov/senators/senators-contact.htm
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🚨 LLAMA YA A SUS SENADORES PARA SALVAR EL ASILO 🚨

El Senado votará MAÑANA en su infame y draconiano proyecto de ley de financiación suplementaria, que destruirá nuestro sistema de inmigración y eliminará los derechos de los inmigrantes y solicitantes de asilo si se aprueba.

Ponte en contacto con tu senador y dile que PROTEJA los derechos de asilo y de los inmigrantes, y que VOTE NO al proyecto de ley de financiación suplementaria.

Encuentra a tu senador aquí 👇
https://www.senate.gov/senators/senators-contact.htm

#senate #border #usmexico #borderdeal #congress #immigrant #immigrants #saveaslyum #protectimmigrants #immigrantsarewelcomehere #tps #daca #family #families #government #biden #president #justneighbors
🚨📢 URGENT: LOBBY DAY TO PROTECT ASYULM TOMORROW 🚨📢

Join Just Neighbors, the ACLU, and immigrants rights advocates TOMORROW at 11:00AM in Washington DC to rally for immigrants rights and demand that Congress protect the US asylum process. Attendees will meet in the Methodist Building and then meet with Senators.
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🚨📢 URGENTE: DÍA DEL CABILDEO MAÑANA PARA PROTEGER EL ASILO 🚨📢

Únase a Just Neighbors, la ACLU y defensores de los derechos de los inmigrantes MAÑANA a las 11:00AM en Washington DC para movilizar para los derechos de inmigrantes y demandar que el congreso proteger el proceso de asilo en los Estados Unidos. Asistentes se reunirán en el Methodist Building y después se reunirán con senadores.
✉️ ¡Está invitado! ✉️

Por favor, ¡únase a Just Neighbors en jueves, el 22 de febrero 2024 desde a las 5:00PM hasta a las 7:00PM para la apertura oficial de nuestra nueva oficina en Maryland! Será una noche de celebración, comunidad y la continuación de nuestro compromiso a la justicia. Las festividades incluirán:

🎉 casa abierta
🎉 ceremonia de corte de cinta
🎉 anuncio especial
🎉 aperitivos ligeros

No podemos esperar para expandir nuestros servicios y esperamos que se una a nosotros para celebrar este maravilloso paso adelante en servir comunidades inmigrantes. ¡Nos vemos allí!

#openhouse #maryland #wheaton #moco #invitation #invited #ribboncutting #new #special #annoncement #justneighbors #newoffice #celebrate #celebration #festivities #party
💝 Just Neighbors has clinics, walk-in consultations, and presentations with community partners all across our footprint in February.
(versión en español en nuestro perfil)

Check out some of the events, clinics, and consultations that Just Neighbors will have with @fauquierfreeclinic, the MAP Clinic, @thecifva, hopkinsmedicine, Mission Central, the Free Clinic of Culpeper, @hijrahva, @augustahealth, @embracewaynesboro, @sbss.church, and @litvolunteerswinchesterarea.

Please note that the Asbury UMC clinic on February 14 is CANCELLED in observance of Ash Wednesday. The Asbury UMC clinic will resume in March. The Fauquier Free Clinic walk-in clinic on February 19 has been CANCELLED in observance of Presidents Day and is RESCHEDULED to February 28.

Click the link in our bio for more information on how to receive immigration legal services or find out how to volunteer!

#february #vday #valentines #volunteer #clinic #giveback #events #fun #thingstodo #immigration #immigrants #immigrant #refugee #asylum #tps #daca #JustNeighbors
💝 Just Neighbors tiene clínicas, consultas sin previas y presentaciones con colaboradores comunitarios en VA, MD y DC en febrero.
(English version on our profile)

Consulte algunos de estos eventos, clínicas y consultas que Just Neighbors tendrá con @fauquierfreeclinic, la MAP Clinic, @thecifva, hopkinsmedicine, Mission Central, la Free Clinic of Culpeper, @hijrahva, @augustahealth, @embracewaynesboro, @sbss.church y @litvolunteerswinchesterarea.

Por favor tome nota que la clínica de Asbury UMC en el día 14 de febrero está CANCELADO en observancia del miércoles de ceniza. La clínica de Asbury UMC continuará en marzo. La clínica sin cita previa de Fauquier Free Clinic en el día 19 de febrero está CANCELADO en observancia del Día del Presidente y SE CAMBIA LA FECHA al 28 de febrero.

Haga clíc en la enlace en nuestro bio para más información en como recibir servicios legales de inmigración o como ser un voluntario!

#february #valentines #valentinesday #volunteer #clinic #giveback #events #fun #thingstodo #immigration #immigrants #immigrant #refugee #asylum #tps #daca #JustNeighbors
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