Just Neighbors Ministry, Inc.

Hope Through Immigration Legal Services

aka Just Neighbors   |   Annandale, VA   |  www.justneighbors.org

Mission

Our mission is to provide high-quality immigration legal services to low-income immigrants, asylees, and refugees in Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia; and, to build community among clients, staff, volunteers and the larger society through education, advocacy, and volunteerism.

Notes from the nonprofit

Thank you for supporting the work of Just Neighbors. If you are interested talking with someone about our organization, please contact us at 703-979-1240.

Ruling year info

1974

Executive Director

Ms. Erin McKenney

Main address

7630 Little River Turnpike Suite 900

Annandale, VA 22003 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

DCMD Justice For Our Neighbors

EIN

54-1820633

NTEE code info

Ethnic/Immigrant Services (P84)

Legal Services (I80)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is not required to file an annual return with the IRS because it is a church.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Our goal is to provide low-income immigrants access to legal counsel for the purposes of obtaining any immigration status for which they are eligible. Our objective is to help immigrants comply to the law, which, in turn, allows full participation in the community, financial independence, and a chance to achieve their dreams. For those who have no legal pathway, we work to educate them on their rights and to protect them from those who seek to take advantage of their vulnerability and desperation. We also seek to educate the community at-large on the key immigration issues and policies. Additionally, we seek opportunities for non-immigrants to personally connect with immigrants to enhance both parties understandings, backgrounds and cultures and to eliminate think of immigrants as "the other."

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Immigration Legal Services

Just Neighbors offers immigration legal services that help people in the following ways: (1) assisting clients in maintaining their immigration status, thereby enabling them to be employed in the United States; (2) unifying families by assisting clients in petitioning for immediate family members (spouses, children, and parents) to join them in the United States; (3) enabling immigrant women and children in abusive domestic situations to obtain the appropriate immigration status to become independent of the abuser; and (4) building bridges by making presentations to ESL classes, public school employees, county workers, shelter staff, and church groups, updating them on changes in immigration law and policies. Just Neighbors' outreach and education are a critical resource to immigrants, and those who work with them.

Population(s) Served
Immigrants and migrants
Victims and oppressed people

Where we work

Awards

Community Action Award 2021

Greater Washington Community Foundation

Affiliations & memberships

National Justice For our Neighbors 2021

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Hours of legal assistance offered

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Immigrants and migrants, Victims and oppressed people

Related Program

Immigration Legal Services

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

This is based on 8 full and part-time staff attorneys plus volunteer attorney time. All paralegal type work is not accounted for in these hours and is handled exclusively by volunteers.

Number of volunteers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Immigrants and migrants

Related Program

Immigration Legal Services

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Just Neighbors uses a community clinic model to provide services to clients. This allows Just Neighbors to serve more clients and provides volunteers the opportunity to serve their neighbors.

Number of donations made by board members

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Immigrants and migrants, Victims and oppressed people

Related Program

Immigration Legal Services

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

One hundred percent of our board members donate to the work of Just Neighbors.

Number of families who received immigration legal services

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Immigrants and migrants, Victims and oppressed people

Related Program

Immigration Legal Services

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

The average family size benefiting from these services is greater than four, thus the impact for 2018: 2668 individuals; 2017: 2728 individuals. Hours per case have increased signficantly.

Number of groups/individuals benefiting from tools/resources/education materials provided

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Children and youth, Ethnic and racial groups

Related Program

Immigration Legal Services

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Numbers attending presentations or outreach events to educate community on immigration related topics to build support, advocacy and awareness.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Immigrants in Northern Virginia will be welcomed into the community so that they can take their places as self-sufficient, contributing members of their community.
* We will provide excellent legal services to our clients
* We will provide opportunities for meaningful interaction between volunteers and clients so that citizens, residents and immigrants can understand one another better.
* We will be a fully inclusive organization that values diversity, equity and inclusiveness for all.
* We will demonstrate respect, kindness, compassion and understanding for each client, volunteer and staff member.
* We will apply the law appropriately and ethically. We assist clients who qualify for immigration benefits that are available under the law. We explain to other immigrants why they do not qualify for benefits.
* We educate the public about immigration law to enhance understanding about this important aspect of immigration.
* We will advocate on issues that impact our clients and our work

Our strategies are to grow our resources to help more immigrants navigate the increasingly difficult and expensive process of applying for immigration status.
We are working to grow revenue to hire more attorneys, continue expansion into underserved areas of Virginia that have little or no immigration legal services, increase our capacity to serve more Maryland and Washington DC clients, and to increase the knowledge of the community at-large on immigration law and issues.
We also continue to work on partnerships that provide a more holistic approach to serving our clients on a broader array of needs.

Just Neighbors has the infrastructure and the experience needed to organize a response to meet this new demand for our services. We have experienced staff attorneys, an enthusiastic volunteer pool and the support of the community. The only limitation we are facing is a human one. Simply put, we need more staff able to work full-time.

Just Neighbors helps vulnerable, low-income immigrants who have nowhere else to turn. In fact, other organizations in the area refer prospective clients to Just Neighbors because we ask the client to contribute only $100 or less. We are able to do this because the support of volunteers, generous donors, churches, foundations and governments means that Just Neighbors' budget does not depend on client fees.

As in years past, Just Neighbors' primary challenge is the inability to serve all of the prospective clients who call our offices for help. Despite the increase in attorney hours, we are still only able to service between 25-30% of the clients who seek our services. With the complexity of the filings increasing due to administration policies, and an increasing number of people trying to secure status, we have not been able to help as many more clients as we would like.

Another strength of Just Neighbors is the retention of its staff. The director of legal services has been with Just Neighbors since 2008, one staff attorney since 2009, one since 2014, and the Operations Director since January 2011. This continuity and experience enables Just Neighbors to operate efficiently and provide high quality legal services to its clients. This is has great benefit not only because of their legal knowledge and experience but also because of their demonstrated commitment to Just Neighbors as an expression of welcome and respect for newcomers to the United States, especially those who have been abused and violated. This approach is evidenced in the way every phone call is answered, every referral made when a legal matter is outside our scope of services, and everyone – staff, volunteer and client – is treated with respect when they enter our doors.

Just Neighbors currently faces two pressing challenges. One is to continue to grow funding when foundations are changing direction and to manage the daily changes that the current administration implements in the immigration system. We continue to diversify our funding resources and have significantly grown individual giving. We advocate to address many of the administrative changes. But the general increase in the time it takes to meet new filing requirements has impacted our ability to significantly increase the number of clients we could help.

Cases -- 2020
Total|1150

Cases (by petition type category)

Total|1150
Escape Violence| 40%
Work Authorization | 22%
Advice and Counsel | 20%
Family Reunification | 13%
Citizenship | 4%

Total Clients: 765

Volunteer Data 2020*
Attorney Volunteers hours 1237
Non-attorney volunteers hours 4625
Total volunteers: 158 Total volunteer hours 5862
*Pandemic year significantly reduced volunteer availability

Staff as of 12/31/2020: 8 attorneys, Executive Director; Operations Director, Volunteer Coordinator, Development Associate, Program Administrator, Justice and Advocacy Fellow

We continue to add more attorney hours and will work to expand volunteer attorney hours as well. We are also focused on expanding our services to a wider area of Virginia with emphasis on areas that have little or no access to immigration legal services. Establishing trust in those immigrant communities is dependent on the partnerships of local faith and community based organizations to educate potential clients and to commit to helping raise funds. We merged with our DC/MD counterpart and have added capacity to now receive new clients from there as well.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    Immigrants pursuing documentation. We do closed case surveys every year targeting those whose casework is completed.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    SMS text surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees, phone surveys,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    We developed a group called Neighbors Helping Neighbors, which is a "club" of former clients who want to get involved with Just Neighbors and who want to advocate and/or help other immigrants. They meet periodically to discuss issues, share stories, etc. Some are now volunteering as well.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    It changed our thinking about how we schedule appointments and the requirement to physically come to the office for appointments. Covid operations helped us realize we could do a lot of our work virtually (zoom/phone) with clients and this has reduced or eliminated their need to come to one of our locations, saving time, hours off work, transportation challenges, etc. As a result of these learnings, we will continue to offer virtual appointments post-pandemic. It has also helped us learn to use the platforms they prefer (such as What's App)/

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time, It is difficult to get honest feedback from the people we serve,

Financials

Just Neighbors Ministry, Inc.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Just Neighbors Ministry, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 4/6/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Joseph Keyes

Retired Chief Legal Officer at Association of American Medical Colleges

Term: 2015 - 2021

Joseph Keyes

Association of American Medical Colleges

Lisa Transgrud

Retired, Fairfax County Public Schools

Marci Huntsman

Retired, United Methodist Pastor

Elizabeth Hoefer

Retired VP computer training company

Bryce Chadwick

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter, and Hampton

Erin McKenney

Just Neighbors

Joyce Shields

Retired, Hay Group

Pratibha Agarwhal

Agarwal Immigration

Lauren Baham

Attorney, FDA

Lauren Bell

Founder LaCire

Sandy Burkholder

Retired, Foreign Service

Leticia Corona

Attorney, Bazzi Immigration Law

Rob Fifer

Retired business consultant

Rev. Ken Hawes

Pastor, Fairhaven UMC

P. Kaupp

Retired, Smithsonian Institution

Sana Shtasel

Attorney and Owner, Management Consulting firm

Rodrigo Velasquez

Senior Legislative Aid to Kathy Tran, VA House of Delegates

Reginald Williamson

Attorney, Public Defender Service, DC

Anne Wilson

Retired, Global Health

Mike Wilson

retired, Executive in healthcare informatics

Rev. Dr. Sarah Calvert

District Superintendent, Arlington UMC

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 4/6/2021,

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 03/23/2020

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.