Grantee: Benefits Law Center
Timeframe: April 2023 – March 2024 | Amount: $15,000
BLC will use Nimble Grant funds to purchase a replacement cargo van or bus and converting it into a rolling law office. BLC purchased their first Justice Bus, a 2008 Chevrolet Cutaway Express, in 2018. The Justice Bus is a fully functioning law office built out in the back of an access bus. It is the only mobile legal unit in the state of Washington. Previously, BLC has collaborated with community-based organizations that have desk space to use, but many programs did not have capacity to do so. BLC utilized Public Library spaces to meet with clients. However, Public Library spaces were also limited and posed problems for confidentiality. The Justice Bus allowed BLC to deliver services from the parking lot of any human and social service provider, alleviating the need to have a space to operate onsite.
Unfortunately, after 392K miles, the Justice Bus needs to be replaced. The engine is not reliable and will not start without being jump started. In the past year, BLC has spent many hours having the Justice Bus jump-started or towed, even after the battery was replaced. Any additional repairs or maintenance to the Justice Bus would be cost-prohibitive given the age and condition of the bus, and BLC’s limited resources. The new Justice Bus will continue to eliminate barriers to legal services related to transportation and mobility for people who are chronically homeless in South King County or who are medically or otherwise unable to travel to Seattle.
About Our Grantee
The BLC mission is to provide accessible legal advocacy to people living with physical and mental disabilities so that they may obtain the resources necessary to overcome barriers to financial and medical stability.