County bar foundation awards nearly $400K to nonprofits

Nearly $400,000 has been awarded to 26 local nonprofits by the San Diego County Bar Foundation.

The grants, totaling $393,500, reflect the foundation’s most recent assistance to some of the county’s most underserved populations. The foundation is the charitable arm of the county Bar Association and began its grants program in 1979. Since then, it has distributed more than $4 million to legal aid and public interest organizations. The grants are funded by contributions from San Diego’s legal and business communities in partnership with the San Diego County Bar Association.

Recipients of the Indigent Criminal Defense Fund grants, which totaled $235,000, are:

  • Center for Employment Homeless Court (legal services for indigent clients)
  • National Conflict Resolution Center (restorative justice project for juveniles)
  • Reading Legacies (to strengthen relationships between family members separated by incarceration or rehabilitation)
  • St. Vincent de Paul Village (preparing homeless clients for court)
  • Think Dignity (for the Homeless Youth Legal Advocacy Project, which helps youth with criminal legal issues)
  • Uprise Theatre Equal Access to Justice (to answer questions about the criminal court process for defendants and family members)

The foundation also awarded general grants totaling $158,500 to 21 organizations:

  • American Bar Association Fund for Justice (legal representation for indigent immigrants in detention)
  • Cal-Western Community Law Project (attorneys and volunteer law students advise low-income San Diegans)
  • Casa Cornelia (legal services to immigrant victims of domestic violence, human trafficking and other crimes)
  • Center for Community Solutions (free legal help, advocacy and representation for restraining orders)
  • Community Resource Center (legal assistance to 40 domestic violence survivors annually)
  • Elder Law & Advocacy (legal advice to low-income seniors)
  • Free to Thrive (support for Family Justice Program)
  • Interfaith Community Services (professional and financial help for unauthorized immigrants in the immigration system)
  • Jewish Family Service of San Diego (legal support and social services for the San Diego Rapid Response Network, which helps immigrants)
  • La Maestra Family Clinics Inc. (legal services for low-income vulnerable populations)
  • Legal Aid Society of San Diego (for the San Diego County Conservatorship Assistance Program, which works with the Regional Center in San Diego County)
  • License to Freedom (legal help for the refugee immigrant community about sexual assault)
  • Pag-Asa Law Clinic (legal access for the Asian American Pacific Islander community)
  • San Diego Advocates for Social Justice (legal representation to tenants, tenant groups and organizations to enforce and expand tenants’ rights).
  • San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program (representation to low-income immigrant and refugee crime victims through the Vision for Justice Collaborative)
  • Southern California Immigration Project (pro bono legal services to asylum seekers)
  • Survivors of Torture International (attorney-requested psychological evaluations for asylum seekers)
  • U.S. Committee for Refugees & Immigrants (legal services to immigrants and refugees, especially unaccompanied children)
  • University of San Diego – Legal Advocacy (protecting the legal rights of foster youth with regard to financial pitfalls)
  • Uprise Theatre (to teach legal principles to participants and have them teach their communities through theater)
  • Voices for Children (volunteer advocates for youth in the juvenile justice system)

For more about the San Diego County Bar Foundation, or to donate, visit