DC has the highest police per capita rate of any large city in the country, disproportionately impacting Black residents, who are most likely to experience police violence. In two years, HWD has trained and mobilized 15,000 people to provide care, defense, and legal support, and to organize for policy change. Its Safety Team is equipped to respond to city-wide crises through de-escalation, medic and mental health assistance, and support for people in jail; its Courtwatch program encourages community members to attend en masse to ensure the accountability of judges and prosecutors. HWD also teaches people facing charges how to navigate the legal system, allowing some to win their cases, secure employment and housing, and even vote for the first time. For HWD, true safety means empowering community members to be agents of change.
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Each year 150+ community advocates review applicants on the basis of governance, equity, and impact. Each featured nonprofit has been successfully site visited and its financials given the thumbs up. Spur Local charges no fees and raises funds separately to support its work. Since 2003, it has raised over $57 million for nonprofits across the Greater Washington region.
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