NJP News | Volume 2 | Issue 2
Greetings - Every day, across Washington, NJP transforms the lives of people in poverty by securing justice to address fundamental human needs.  Our work would not be possible without the support of our donors, community supporters, and our partners. To learn more, see our 2015 Annual Report - below.
Providing the Opportunity for Work and Independence

Ben

Ben's dream to develop a greeting card business and move toward financial independence almost came to an end last year.  A legally blind young man who suffers from other disabilities, Ben makes and sells greeting cards at Elk Drug in Dayton.  He needs support services provided by the Developmental Disabilities Administration, but a DDA contractor determined to reduce, and then eliminate, Ben's employment support services. DDA decided the business could not be profitable.  Tyler Graber from NJP's Walla Walla office represented Ben to appeal the decision asking DDA to comply with the requirement to "provide services to enable persons with developmental disabilities to achieve a greater measure of independence and fulfillment."  To make his case, Ben also worked with SCORE - a nonprofit that mentors small businesses - to develop a plan to show his business was viable.  DDA approved the plan and agreed to continue to provide Ben the support services he needs to work on developing his business. See newspaper coverage: Thinking Outside the Box, and Family battles to reboot disabled Dayton man's business.

Debt Collection Lawsuit? Use New Online Interview to Defend Yourself!

 
Washington LawHelp has a new interactive interview to assist individuals facing a debt collection lawsuit in Washington State.
 Answering a Lawsuit for Debt Collection allows you to create the paperwork you need to defend yourself and respond properly and on time. After you complete an online interview, the documents are created for you to print out, sign, file and serve. This is one of several interactive "HotDocs" interviews available at Washington LawHelp, where you can also create court papers to Seal Juvenile Court Records and to File for Divorce (if No Minor Children).

Fire Disaster Warnings will be made more accessible for Non-English Speakers
 
When NJP took on coordination of the civil legal aid response to last year's fire disaster, a critical area of need was the serious lack of local resources to communicate with non-English speakers concerning emergency preparedness information, emergency evacuation and notification alerts, and relief and recovery efforts. NJP staff engaged in extensive discussions with the Washington Military Department to identify ways to correct this dangerous deficiency.  These discussions led to the development of the agency's first ever Language Access Plan to help local jurisdictions identify and meet their language access obligations. In addition, Governor Inslee recently launched the "Limited English Proficiency Pilot Program" which will conduct a self-assessment and plan language access services in the five counties most affected by the 2014 and 2015 wildfires: Chelan, Douglas, Kittitas, Okanogan and Yakima. Inslee: Disaster Warnings Must Reach Non-English Speakers (NJP-Wenatchee Attorneys Patrick Pleas and Ruth Esparza were cited in the article).  NJP is again coordinating the civil legal aid disaster response this year, and will continue our work to ensure LEP individuals have equal access to emergency disaster services.
 
Northwest Justice Project publishes 2015 Annual Report

Annual Report
NJP's 2015 Annual Report
celebrates our 20th Anniversary, the excellent and impactful work of NJP's highly dedicated staff, and our community's strong support for NJP's work as a force for equal justice - 2015 Annual Report. In the report, Chief Justice Barbara Madsen, Senator Patti Murray, ABA President Paulette Brown, and former State Attorney General Rob McKenna extend words of congratulations and appreciation for NJP's work and mission. Special thanks to Jay Doran, Communications and Advocacy Director for the Legal Foundation of Washington, for his help with layout and design.

You can help Secure Justice and Transform Lives!

 

Pleascontribute to NJP's work on Tuesday May 3rd for GiveBIG day when a portion of each gift to NJP will be matched! Your generous support will be stretched further and help make it possible or NJP to continue our work to secure justice and transform the lives of low-income people across Washington.


To learn more about our work contact Bryan Baker, Director of Development, like us on Facebook, and visit our website where you can access our annual reports and explore more of NJP. Also, please share NJP News with your friends and colleagues so they can join NJP in helping make equal justice a reality in Washington State.
 
Sincerely,    
CÚsar E. Torres
Executive Director
Northwest Justice Project | 401 2nd Avenue South, Suite 407 | 206.464.1519 | nwjustice.org