Recent News

ELAP Stands Against Rasicm and Injustice
All of us at Eastside Legal Assistance Program are deeply saddened and angry over the senseless murder of Mr. George Floyd. This is one of countless acts of violence against people of color that has stained our country’s history.

ELAP stands in solidarity with our black clients, volunteers, supporters, and staff members as we mourn this loss. And as an organization, we demand that systemic racism, which impacts all people of color, be acknowledged and eliminated.

Without the video by bystanders, we may never have known of this tragedy or the events may have been slanted to assuage the guilt of those responsible for it. Who knows what difference a live video could have made in getting justice for Emmett Till in 1955 or the Scottsboro Boys in 1931? Today, however, we have the stark footage of video showing Mr. Floyd’s last moments alive and we view with horror what racism looks like in America.

At ELAP the journey toward equity, led by co-workers of color, began by acknowledging our own inherent biases. We recognize that this is a journey. We understand that centuries of systemic racism cannot be eliminated from our community and eliminated from our hearts in an instant. But as an organization, we are ready to begin the heavy lifting: first to understand our own failings, and then to begin the process of growth and healing that is required to take this journey.

At ELAP we will be continuing this dialogue with our board, staff, and throughout the community with a renewed sense of urgency. We invite you to join us as we go beyond thoughts and prayers. Band with us as we raise up our voice against injustice. Partner with us, with broken hearts, for Mr. Floyd’s family and the families of everyone slain by racism, inequality, and injustice.

Here, in our own community, we can work for change; it all starts with conversations with your family, conversations with your neighbors, and conversations with your local elected officials. By calling out centuries of inequity and demanding accountability, we can be a catalyst for change. But remember, it starts here.

Confucius said, “The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.” We are hammering at the stones of injustice and inequity, and we ask that you join us.

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE
5/12/2020

We are closely monitoring the evolving developments of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and the impact it is having on our community. 

Our operations are running as normal, however clinic appointments will take place telephonically for the foreseeable future. 
We are recommending that our clients, volunteers and staff take precautions to avoid becoming infected. According to King County Public Health, the best preventative measures include frequent hand washing and avoiding contact with people who are sick.
Resources can be found here:

ACTUALIZACIÓN DE CORONAVIRUS

Estamos monitoreando de cerca los desarrollos en evolución de la nueva enfermedad por coronavirus (COVID-19) y el impacto que está teniendo en nuestra comunidad.

Nuestras operaciones están funcionando normalmente, sin embargo, las citas clínicas se realizarán telefónicamente en el futuro previsible.

Recomendamos que nuestros clientes, voluntarios y personal tomen precauciones para evitar infectarse. Según el condado de King Departamento de Salud Pública, las mejores medidas preventivas incluyen lavarse las manos con frecuencia y evitar el contacto con personas enfermas.

Los recursos se pueden encontrar aquí:
– Salud pública: página de recursos de coronavirus del condado de Seattle y King: www.kingcounty.gov/covid.
– Sitio web del Departamento de Salud del Estado de Washington: www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/Coronavirus.  El estado también ha establecido un centro de llamadas para responder las preguntas del público. Llame al 1-800-525-0127 y presione #.
-Sitio web de respuesta al coronavirus del estado de Washington: información sobre la reapertura gradual de Safe Start y la orden Stay at Home, Stay Healthy https://coronavirus.wa.gov/what-you-need-know/whats-open-and-closed

ELAP- ICHS MEDICAL-LEGAL PARTNERSHIP HAS LAUNCHED
Statement issued by International Community Health Services:International Community Health Services and Eastside Legal Assistance Program (ELAP) today announced a Medical-Legal Partnership that will give low-income patients free legal services. Patients referred from ICHS’s Bellevue Clinic can meet with ELAP’s attorneys for advice on issues impacting their ability to stay in good health.“ICHS cares for patients holistically. There are many factors that impact whether someone can access and benefit from quality, preventative health care,” said Vanja Knezevic, ICHS Bellevue health center manager. ”Often, low-income and marginalized patients face social issues that can exacerbate health issues. For example, a person who is facing eviction is more likely to be stressed or depressed. Someone who is wrongfully denied public benefits might be prevented from providing healthy nutrition for their family. We’re seeking to lessen these potential health impacts.”The health care teams at ICHS’s Bellevue Clinic will work closely with ELAP’s legal aid attorneys to identify patients who qualify. Referred patients will meet with an attorney for sessions that will be scheduled at ICHS’s Bellevue Clinic.

“We are excited to move forward with ICHS,” said Gerald Kroon, ELAP executive director. “This innovative partnership will increase access to much needed civil legal aid, addressing legal issues that adversely affect a person’s medical wellbeing.”

The new partnership is being announced as a six-month pilot program, initially only available by referral through ICHS’s Bellevue Clinic, with the possibility of being extended to include ICHS’s three other full service clinics as future funding and interest allow. Services will be available to qualifying King County residents who fall below 200% of the federal poverty level, which was $50,200 for a family of four in 2018.

FAMILY SEPARATIONS AND ASYLUM SEEKERS

Statement from ELAP Executive Director, Gerald Kroon:

Eastside Legal Assistance Program (ELAP) vehemently opposes the policy of separating children from their parents at the U.S.‒Mexican border. As a nonprofit committed to justice for all – particularly society’s most vulnerable ‒ we cannot sit back and idly watch as the moral fiber of our country is ripped apart.

The Executive Order signed by the President – as numerous legal experts have pointed out – does nothing to help the families already torn apart by the Administration’s cruel and misguided policies. It also raises serious concerns about the impact of future actions on innocent children and families fleeing unbearable situations.

We are also deeply troubled by the President’s recent assertion that immigrants should be denied due process, which suggests an outrageous disregard for what this country stands for and what our organization champions.

ELAP pro bono attorneys work tirelessly to meet the civil legal needs of low-income residents – including the increasing numbers of immigrants and refugees now living in King County. We will do everything in our power to unite with other decent people working to ensure that humane treatment and legal protection is available to everyone, no matter where they came from or how they got here.

2018 Volunteer of the Year Awards

Volunteer Attorney of the Year- Jay Stratton Each year ELAP is pleased that over 150 attorneys volunteer at our clinics, workshops and other pro bono events. Over the past two years, Jay Stratton of Stratton Immigration has gone above and beyond as our guest speaker at numerous “Know Your Rights” workshops, helping at immigration clinics and […]