Ayuda (Washington, DC)


  • Name:Sarah Block

Organization Address

  • Organization Name:Ayuda
  • Address:6925 Willow Street NW
    Washington, DC 20012
    United States

Organization Phone

  • Main phone:202 387 4848

Organization Web

User Email


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  • Mission:
  • Ayuda advocates for low-income immigrants through direct legal, social and language services, training and outreach in the Washington DC metropolitan area. Our goals are to improve the ability of foreign-born individuals to become fully participating members of our communities and give them the opportunity to lead safe, fulfilling and violence-free lives.

  • Overview:
  • For more than 42 years, Ayuda has been addressing hardships and trauma that low-income immigrants in the region face as they strive to build their lives. Issues many immigrants confront include the following:

    Obstacles to Legal Immigration: Documented and undocumented immigrants are overwhelmed by a complex U.S. immigration system. Without the certainty of their immigration status, families are deprived of educational, medical and other public benefits that could help them build their American dream.

    Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault: More than 30,000 reports of domestic violence, the equivalent to one call every 17 minutes, are made in the Washington region annually. Those calls report hitting, strangling, torture, forced sex, and captivity.

    Human Trafficking: Annually, hundreds of D.C. area women and girls, as well as men and boys, are coerced into forced labor, sex, and servitude. Traffickers profit while victims suffer abuse, impoverishment, and despair.

    Notario Fraud: Immigrants fall prey to notarios públicos who pose illegally as licensed attorneys and charge immense fees for deceptive information that harm rather than help immigrant families seeking legal remedies.

    Language Isolation. Immigrants experience confusion and profound isolation due to language barriers. Without communication, basic services are beyond reach. Long-term consequences include illness, homelessness, and poverty.

    Program Overview

    The Washington, D.C. metropolitan region has seen a steady growth of immigrants in the past three decades. Many of them are trained and highly educated. But many others are considered among the “working poor.” They live in families in which one or more members have a fulltime job but earn incomes 300 percent below the federal poverty guidelines.

    Approximately 55 percent of Ayuda’s client population lives in the District of Columbia, 25 percent in Maryland, and 20 percent in Virginia. Clients are 70 percent Latino and the remaining 30 percent come from Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe. Through our 42-year history, Ayuda has been at the forefront in giving voice to immigrants, empowering individuals to lead safe, violence-free lives.

    With Ayuda, immigrants access justice to stop the abuse and improve their lives. We help victims of human-trafficking, domestic violence, and sexual assault flee from their abusers. We assist low-income immigrants navigate a complex legal immigration system. We give voice to those facing isolation because of language barriers. We advocate for victims of fraudulent notarios públicos to receive restitution, repair the damage done to their cases, and work to prevent those notarios from continuing their practice. We assist unaccompanied minors with legal representation and case management.

    Ayuda has been saving and rebuilding lives by helping immigrants remove obstacles to creating sustainable livelihoods. We offer holistic legal, social, and interpretation services to the local immigrant community in the Washington metropolitan region, providing programs that include legal representation for low-income immigrants; social services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse and human trafficking; language access services to free clients from language isolation, and Project END to eradicate notario fraud.

    In FY 2014-15, Ayuda provided legal assistance in 2,295 legal matters, 60 percent of which were for female clients, completed 53 Special Immigrant Juvenile cases, completed more than 150 U and T visa cases for crime and human trafficking victims, submitted 196 cases for lawful permanent residence, and completed representation in 35 citizenship cases. Our attorneys represented 450 domestic violence and family law cases, conducted case screening of 180 victims of domestic violence; provided 20 family law or domestic violence legal consultations to immigrant survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault; secured five U Visas for clients; and offered referral services to 300 potential clients.

    Our social workers provided case management services to 60 victims of domestic violence and sexual assault and 40 trafficking victims; individual therapy to 40 clients; walk-in consultations to 140 victims of violence; and conducted individual and group therapy sessions to 60 clients.

    We launched the Emergency Services and Victims of Crime Interpreters Bank in November 2014. Together with our Community Legal Interpreter Bank, our language access program assisted 58 civil-legal service providers and facilitated more than 350 interpretation sessions, serving close to 3,000 clients – 222 of whom were LEP/NEP/Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals.

  • History:
  • Ayuda envisions a community where all immigrants overcome obstacles and thrive in the United States. Our mission is to advocate for low-income immigrants through direct legal, social and language services, education, and outreach, in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Ayuda began in 1971 as a general civil legal clinic at The George Washington University Law School and became a separate nonprofit corporation in 1973. In response to political turmoil in Central America in the 1980s and the immigration reforms of 1986, Ayuda shifted focus to meet the rising need for immigration services. Thereafter, due to the unique needs of immigrant survivors of domestic violence, Ayuda launched a Domestic Violence Program and was a strong voice in the development of the Violence Against Women Act. Ayuda is a legal trailblazer working with children, one of the first agencies in the country to successfully petition for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status for youth, and is often called upon to provide expert opinion in children's cases.

    In 2007, Ayuda launched a Community Legal Interpreter Bank (CLIB) to ensure that low-income, limited English speaking, and deaf/hard of hearing individuals can access justice in the language they know best. The CLIB is the first interpreter program in the United States to provide professional training to interpreters on attorney-client relationship and legal representation. The Bank now serves 27 legal services providers and includes 100 legal interpreters that speak more than 40 languages (including American Sign Language). Ayuda was also proud to launch the Emergency Services and Victims of Crimes Interpreter Bank to ensure that victims service providers have the means to offer their services and that clients understand what is transpiring whether they are being attended to during forensic examination, receiving emergency medical care, or reporting crimes to investigators.

    Ayuda launched the first legal project in the country to serve victims of immigration consultant fraud (also known as “notario” fraud). Low-income immigrants, often desperate for assistance, fall prey to notarios públicos who pose illegally as licensed attorneys and charge immense fees for deceptive information that harm rather than help immigrant families seeking legal remedies.

    Through a 42-year history, Ayuda has been at the forefront of giving voice to immigrants, empowering individuals to lead safe violence-free lives.

  • Year established:1973
  • Endowment:Unknown


  • Executive / Trustee board size:9
  • Advisory board size:
  • Staff size:36


  • Organization type:Grantseeker
  • Country of registration:United States
  • Tax Determination Letter:Received Determination Letter
  • IRS Section:501(c)(3)
  • IRS Subsection:None
  • Tax ID: