Getting legal help to overcome obstacles to health care, housing and other necessities is often too expensive for low-income LGBT+ residents in our community.
Thanks to support from Fundholders at the Community Foundation of Broward, more LGBT+ residents facing financial hurdles now have access to free legal clinics where they can find guidance and seek solutions.
The Rainbow Justice program, launched by the Legal Aid Programs in Broward County, trains private attorneys to provide free civil legal services to members of the LGBT+ community. Those attorneys then volunteer their time in free legal clinics for LGBT+ residents who otherwise couldn’t afford an attorney.
With more attorneys trained to better serve LGBT+ residents, Rainbow Justice is able to provide free legal clinics held online and at easy-to-access locations throughout that the community. And during the pandemic, the program switched to online clinics have helped broaden their reach.
The clinics deliver free legal information to income-eligible LGBT+ residents, helping them address landlord-tenant issues, consumer disputes, immigration issues, health care hurdles and more. The sessions also help spread the word about other LGBT+ community services available in Broward.
“The training I received was eye opening. I had no idea about some of the challenges faced by members of the LGBTQ community, let alone how to best help a client who might be navigating those challenges daily,” said attorney James Paul, who participated in the Rainbow Justice training program. “I am a firm believer in taking pro bono cases, and now I believe I am better equipped to provide the very best legal advice to an LGBTQ client.”
A $66,000 Community Foundation grant for Rainbow Justice was made possible by our Fundholders who support Broward Pride – philanthropy that fosters inclusion and breaks down barriers for LGBT+ residents.
Even though Broward has more same-sex households than any other county in Florida, many of our LGBT+ residents still face discrimination and feel excluded from community institutions. To change that, the Community Foundation has long been at the forefront of advocating for the LGBT+ community.
In 1986, the Community Foundation became the first non-government funder in Broward to lead the charge for education and understanding of the HIV/AIDS epidemic – ultimately granting more than $3.7 million to address HIV/AIDS. And since 2003, more than $8 million in Community Foundation grants have supported the LGBT+ community on a wide range of issues, including education, outreach, the arts and more.
Thanks to visionary philanthropists who create endowed charitable Funds at the Community Foundation, we will always be there to champion equality and foster inclusion for everyone who calls Broward home.
Support for the Rainbow Justice program came from the following Funds at the Community Foundation:
- Gay and Lesbian Broward Community Fund
- Richard Frisby and Edward Burkhart Fund
- Charles L. Ross Fund
- Federick W. Jaqua Fund
- Steven Halmos Family Fund
To learn how you can support Broward Pride and other issues that matter, contact Vice President of Philanthropic Services Nancy Thies at firstname.lastname@example.org or 954-761-9503.