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Dec 1, 2023

Our conversation for United Way Day featured United Way Northern Shenandoah Valley's CEO, Kaycee Childress and her guest, Tori Babbington. Tori is the managing attorney for rural programs with Just Neighbors. Just Neighbors is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization dedicated to serving and supporting the immigrant community of Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. 

Tori discussed her organization's mission to provide free legal representation to non-citizens earning under 200% of the federal poverty guidelines. She highlighted the complexities and lengthy process of the immigration system, often taking many months or years, particularly for temporary residents or undocumented individuals. Tori emphasized the need for a bipartisan effort to reform the current immigration system, as a significant portion of their clients do not have a clear pathway for legal

We discussed the issue of veteran deportation and the challenges faced by deported veterans who have made significant contributions to the country. Tori explained the challenges faced by one of her clients currently in the asylum application process, which included waiting for almost two years for a decision (still pending) and dealing with an under-resourced system with a backlog of over 100,000
cases. Tori highlighted the financial difficulties faced by families in the immigration process, including the cost of application fees. She also noted the negative effects of the delay in approvals, such as preventing family reunification processes.

Tori discussed the various ways people can get involved with the nonprofit organization Just Neighbors. She emphasized the importance of their partnership with Braddock Street United Methodist Church, and Literacy Volunteers Winchester Area. She highlighted the power of these interactions, noting that they connect diverse community members. She also mentioned the
availability of both in-person and remote volunteer opportunities, making clear that bilingualism is not mandatory. She further explained that their website offers a consultation request form and that clients can call their office, with bilingual staff available.

Learn more about their organization, upcoming Immigration 101 sessions, as well as walk-in clinics on their website: and follow them on Facebook.