Working Families Project

The Working Families Project (WFP) helps families establish and maintain their self-sufficiency and build strong communities. We advocate on behalf of our clients for safe and fair employment practices, economic opportunities, and reduced barriers to financial security. The project employs a variety of advocacy strategies to support our clients, including community education and organizing, public advocacy, economic development, negotiation and litigation.

With an advocacy focus on immigrant workers and economic justice, our statewide policy work and litigation have meant that thousands of clients in Washington can maintain housing for their families, work in safer environments, be paid for the wages they earn, and seek jobs.

For more about our work, see our Advocacy Headlines.

Justice for Farmworkers

The Immigrant Workers Group advocates for safe and fair employment practices for farmworkers and immigrants. The working group helps farmworkers win against unfair employment practices, wage theft, and unsafe conditions.

Economic Justice Project

The Economic Justice Project, formerly the Foreclosure Working Group, at Columbia Legal Services fights deceptive lending practices and protects families who face the loss of their home due to foreclosure. The working group employs a variety of advocacy strategies, including policy advocacy and litigation, to help Washington residents enforce their rights against large financial institutions. Foreclosure rates and problems with home loans soared between 2008-2013. Washington has been in the top 15 states in foreclosure activity.  While foreclosure rates are beginning to drop, they are still significantly higher than normal. As a result, many Washington residents have found themselves struggling to maintain ownership of the homes.

CLS advocates were instrumental in drafting and negotiating the 2011 Foreclosure Fairness Act, as well as the subsequent amendments. Now, as recipient of funds from the National Mortgage Settlement, the Foreclosure Working Group is litigating cases on behalf of homeowners. These cases generally deal with implementation of the Foreclosure Fairness Act and homeowner rights under the Deed of Trust Act. More

The Economic Justice Project also seeks to make lending practices more equitable and transparent. In 2010, the project helped pass payday lending reforms to protect Washington residents from debt traps. The work to prevent payday lenders from watering down what regulations we have, and to add additional protections for consumers, is ongoing. More