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Asher Waite-Jones

2016, Equal Justice Works Fellowships, Asher Waite-Jones

Asher Waite-Jones

Name of Host Organization: Legal Services for Children
City, State: San Francisco, California
Issue area: Children/Youth
Sponsors: ALM

The Project

Provide holistic legal representation to homeless youth in San Francisco and Alameda Counties, primarily in traffic court cases.

The Inspiration

Need Addressed By Project
In the Bay Area, youth homelessness is at an all-time high, with nearly 20,000 youth living without a stable home. These youth lead lives marked by instability and hardship. One of the areas of particular hardship is criminalization. In the Bay Area, this often comes in the form of quality of life citations, violations of the law below misdemeanors, heard in traffic court. An example is San Francisco’s sit-lie ordinance, which makes it a citable offense to sit or lie down on the sidewalk.
The Right Person For This Project
Asher is the right person for the project because:
• Since college, he has advocated for homeless people, particularly youth, at a variety of social and legal services organizations
• During law school, he represented homeless adults and transition-aged youth in quality of life infraction cases in Alameda County
• As a former homeless youth himself, Asher has a unique understanding of the hardship and stigma faced by homeless young people