2015 Equal Justice Works Fellow, Ashley Richardson

Ashley Richardson

Name of Host Organization: Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati
City, State: Cincinnati, Ohio
Issue area: Housing/Homelessness, Education/Special Education
Sponsors: The Ohio Legal Assistance Foundation

The Project

Ashley will increase access to safe, habitable housing and quality educational opportunities for low-income families through the use of legal representation, policy advocacy, and community outreach.

The Inspiration

Need Addressed By Project: 
Almost one third of all Ohio renters struggle financially each month to meet their housing needs. For those seeking affordable housing, the demand severely outpaces the supply and the waitlists are extremely long. As a result, low-income families face substantial hurdles to retain safe and affordable housing. When families experience housing issues, their children’s attendance at school suffers, jeopardizing their chances of graduating and perpetuating the cycle of poverty in these families.
The Right Person For This Project: 
Ashley is the right person for the project because:
• She has experience as both a student and as a teacher in the public school system
• She attended law school to learn how to successfully advocate on behalf of underserved communities similar to her hometown of Detroit
• During law school, she worked on school-to-prison pipeline issues and represented clients in family court
• She is committed to combining her interests in housing and education law to work toward eliminating poverty related issues
Plans For First Six Months of Fellowship: 
In the first six months, Ashley will:
• Consult with community organizations based in housing and education to determine specific nuanced needs for advocacy and take initial steps to create partnerships with these organizations
• Build on the Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati’s contacts with Cincinnati Public School administrators to identify strategies to help students who are dealing with homelessness or unstable housing
• Provide legal assistance to clients with their housing and education issues

© 2016 Equal Justice Works - 1730 M Street, NW, Suite 800, Washington, DC 20036-4511