When 53-year-old Columbus Keemer came to one of Legal Aid’s court-based legal services offices, he was facing a multitude of challenges. Recently homeless, he was struggling with physical disabilities and depression. A Legal Aid housing attorney concluded that Mr. Keemer had been wrongfully terminated from the Section 8 voucher program, and she represented him before the D.C. Housing Authority.
Many hearings later, Mr. Keemer’s voucher was restored. Meanwhile, Mr. Keemer told us he had previously filed for disability and had been rejected. A Legal Aid public benefits attorney worked with Mr. Keemer to supplement the record and file a brief. After a Social Security Administration hearing, an Administrative Law Judge ruled in Mr. Keemer’s favor, finding Mr. Keemer eligible for SSI benefits amounting to $718 a month, as well as back benefits totaling $13,000. Homeless when he met us, Mr. Keemer now lives in dignity and stability in historic Anacostia.
“Without Legal Aid, I would probably be homeless.”