Special to The Times

EVERY year the Legislature enacts hundreds of bills. When signed into law by the governor, these acts define legal rights, assign legal responsibilities or regulate behavior. Many do all three. For our democracy to work, these laws must work for everyone, including people like Paul and Mya.

Paul is a 62-year-old disabled Vietnam War veteran. He was homeless and living in a van after being unable to pay his rent when he turned to legal aid for help. An attorney with the nonprofit Northwest Justice Project helped him apply for rental assistance for veterans. When Paul’s application was denied, his attorney appealed and represented Paul at the hearing. Paul was found eligible. He and his family were able to move into a safe, warm home in time to celebrate Christmas.

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