Home Court Charity Basketball Game Celebrates 25th Anniversary

February 16, 2012 — For the 25th year in a row, members of Congress and Georgetown University Law Center faculty and staff will go head-to-head to help the District's homeless.

For the 25th year in a row, members of Congress and Georgetown University Law Center faculty and staff will go head-to-head to help the District's homeless.

The "Hills Angels" (members of Congress) and "Hoya Lawyas" (Georgetown Law faculty and staff) will compete in the 25th annual Home Court charity basketball game. Organized entirely by Georgetown Law students, Home Court is the largest annual fundraising event for the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless (WLCH).

"We are delighted to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Home Court and our longstanding partnership with the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless," said Georgetown Law Dean William M. Treanor. "Georgetown Law is a school committed to giving back to our community, and Home Court is one important way our students help our neighbors who are most in need."

"We look forward to the event every year," said WLCH co-founder and executive director Patty Mullahy Fugere. "It provides a great deal of financial support to the clinic, but it also gives law students early exposure to the often invisible legal needs in their community."

Conceived in 1988 by a group of Georgetown Law students led by Jeff Schwaber, L'88 (who currently serves as fundraising chair), Home Court has grown into the hallmark fundraiser for WLCH, a nonprofit dedicated to providing free legal services to homeless individuals and families in Washington, D.C., to help them access housing, shelter and life-saving services.

According to a 2011 report by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, 6,546 persons in the District were homeless on a single night in 2011 - an increase of 14% since the economic downturn began in 2008. Families make up 41% of D.C.'s total homeless population, and family homelessness in the nation's capital increased by 46% between 2008 and 2011.

In an effort to combat these trends, WLCH and its network of more than 200 volunteer attorneys represent clients on issues such as appealing denials of public benefits, accessing emergency shelter and securing permanent, affordable housing. It also advocates for policies and programs that will help people move out of homelessness.

During the first year of Home Court, students set a modest fundraising goal of $10,000, but ended up collecting $42,000. The numbers have continued to grow since then. Last year's event raised over $414,000, mostly in private donations by the D.C. legal community, and Law Center students and WLCH staff are hoping to bring in $1 million in 2012. More than $4 million in total funds has been raised to help D.C.'s homeless over the last 24 years.

This year's 25th anniversary game will be played on Wednesday, February 29 at Trinity Center, Trinity Washington University, 125 Michigan Avenue NE, Washington, D.C. 20017. Doors open at 7:00 p.m. Tip-off is at 8:00 p.m. For more information, please visit http://www.homecourtdc.org/.

A video about Home Court 2011 is available here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1L1_u-4AfqE.