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Bar Foundation awards $100,000 in grants

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The San Diego County Bar Foundation has awarded grants totaling $100,000 to 13 local nonprofit organizations. The grants will assist low-income San Diego County residents in need of legal advice and representation and provide education about the legal system.

Funding for the Bar Foundation's grants, which are awarded twice a year, comes from fundraising efforts and gifts. The previous grant cycle also awarded $100,000 to seven local organizations.

"The Bar Foundation is dedicated to supporting organizations that advocate for those in our region who are impacted by poverty, abuse and discrimination," said James Sandler, president of the foundation and a partner with Sandler, Lasry, Laube, Byer & Valdez LLP. "Through these grants we can better ensure that legal aid is accessible to those who would otherwise be underserved by the legal system."

Written grant applications are carefully reviewed and in-depth site visits and interviews are conducted.

ACCESS Inc. received $2,500 to provide training and mentoring to 12 law student interns to help domestic violence victims attain immigration relief under the Violence Against Women Act.

The Center for Community Solutions was awarded $15,000 to support the center's legal department in providing civil legal advocacy and assistance to domestic violence and sexual assault victims in Escondido, Pacific Beach, La Mesa, San Marcos and downtown.

The Children's Advocacy Institute at the University of San Diego got $10,000 to support the Homeless Youth Outreach Project in providing legal services and related assistance to youth ages 12-24.

An award of $10,000 went to the group Coming Home to Stay to support the pilot program on prisoner reintegration.

The Community Resource Center recieved $7,500 to expand the Center's Domestic Violence Legal Advocacy Program while $15,000 went to support the general operation of Elder Law and Advocacy.

The International Rescue Committee got $10,000 to support the low cost refugee centered immigration services in San Diego County while License to Freedom received $5,000 to educate religious leaders, immigrants and refuges on American law in general and in particular how it relates to domestic violence.

The Labor Training/Employee Rights Center was awarded $12,000 to fund free educational services provided to immigrant workers regarding their immigration status by the center's immigration attorney.

The National Center of Deaf Advocacy got $2,500 to support the Legal Services Program/Deaf Domestic Violence and Intervention Program.

Second Chance received $5,000 to support the Prisoner Reentry Employment Program, which seeks to help the formerly incarcerated reintegrate into society by providing them with the training and skills to be ready to work.

A grant of $2,000 went to Teen Court to support the diversion and intervention program, preventing 100 youth offenders from further crowding the juvenile court system by providing a justice alternative based on the principles of repairing harm.

The Women's Resource Fair was awarded $3,500 to support the annual one-day fair for homeless women who are victims of domestic violence in receiving resources such as legal, medical, job training, etc.

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