The Legal Advocacy & Organizing Department provides free legal advice, information and representation to individuals who live, work or go to school between 59th and 110th Streets, from 5th Avenue to the East River and on Roosevelt Island. Our clients include low-income families, immigrants, older adults, homebound and disabled adults, homeless and formerly homeless men and women and low-wage workers.
We work as a team with other Lenox Hill Neighborhood House program staff to ensure that our clients receive a seamless continuum of care. We conduct outreach and intake at our five East Side sites, including our Women’s Mental Health Shelter, Casa Mutua, our supportive housing residence for formerly homeless adults, our two Senior Centers and at many other East Side community-based organizations.
Our team of five attorneys and two legal advocates assist individuals in the following areas: Benefits/Entitlements, Housing, Health Care (Medicaid, Medicare, private insurance), Supplemental Needs Trusts, Employment law, and Advance Directives. In addition to providing direct legal services, we conduct educational workshops and trainings for community residents and organizations throughout the East Side.
PBS Features the Neighborhood House in Documentary about 75th Anniversary of Social Security
In honor of the 75th anniversary of the Social Security system, PBS produced a documentary as part of their E Street Series that featured our legal program and Center @ Lenox Hill Neighborhood House. Dave Marash, a former Nightline reporter, visited the Center @ Lenox Hill Neighborhood House in March and talked with seniors about how social security benefits help them survive. Carolyn Silver, Director of Legal Advocacy and Organizing, discussed our wide spectrum of services for seniors that help them age in place, including the pivotal work of our Legal Department. Our attorneys and non-attorney advocates help seniors apply for many government benefits and help them to maximize their income. This is especially important in light of the difficulty seniors face in living on fixed incomes.
PBS interviewed three Center @ Lenox Hill Neighborhood House members who all gave a different perspective on what social security means to them. They also talked about the importance of our Center and the diverse programs we offer.
Our intake is currently open for the following matters: Eviction prevention, SCRIE/DRIE, Food Stamps, Health Care, Advance Directives and Employment Law. If you need legal assistance, please call our intake hotline at (212) 744-5022, ext. 1392 or come to our walk-in clinic on Mondays from 10:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m. at 331 East 70th Street. People will be seen on a first-come, first-served basis and we will see the first four people who have signed up.
All cases will be screened through our intake process and will be accepted on an individual case-by-case basis. If we cannot assist you directly, we will do our best to make an appropriate referral.
Are you facing eviction? Are you behind on your rent? Our Legal Advocacy & Organizing Department provides free legal services to help individuals and families remain in their homes and avoid eviction. If your income is below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines ($1,862/month for an individual; $2,522/month for a family of two; $3,182/month for a family of three), and you have received an eviction notice from your landlord, please contact our intake hotline at 212 744-5022, ext. 1392 for a confidential assessment. If we cannot assist you directly, we will refer your case to another organization that may be able to assist you.
Led by Supervising Attorney, Mia Kandel, Esq., the Health Care Access Project helps low-income families, disabled and older adults, and their caregivers navigate and access critical health care benefits, including Medicaid and Medicare. In light of the recent changes created by Federal Health Care Reform and the ongoing budget challenges that are affecting Medicaid recipients in New York State, the Health Care Access Project is an important resource for our clients and our community. We are excited to continue our important efforts to expand access to health care benefits through this initiative. For assistance with a health care related matter, please call our intake hotline at (212) 744-5022, ext. 1392.
The Workers' Rights Project provides low-income workers with direct legal services, counseling, information and advice and referrals to other legal service providers. We conduct client workshops and trainings on legal and related issues and develop and disseminate outreach materials. The comprehensive services provided by the Workers’ Rights Project are tailored to maintain low- income workers’ economic self-sufficiency by providing direct legal assistance on issues related to employment (e.g., wages and hours, unemployment benefits, unlawful workplace discrimination and harassment), and assisting with relevant issues, such as food stamp benefits, access to health care, and affordable housing.
We believe that addressing all of these critical issues in a holistic, interdisciplinary manner is the only way that low-income workers can truly have a chance to maintain their economic stability.
For more information about our Workers’ Rights Project or if you are a low-wage worker seeking assistance, please contact Sirrah Harris, Esq., at (212) 744-5022, ext. 1291.
Recent changes have expanded SNAP (formerly known as Food Stamps) eligibility in New York City, so more individuals and families are eligible for SNAP benefits than ever before. Our Food Stamp Advocate conducts confidential pre-screenings to determine whether clients are eligible and assists them in submitting their application.
If you are interested in determining whether you are eligible for SNAP benefits, please call our Food Stamp Advocate at 212 744-5022, ext. 1278. You can also come to our Food Stamp Assistance Clinic, which is held every Wednesday from 10:00 a.m. - 1 p.m. No appointment is needed.
Click here for more information about the Food Stamp Assistance Clinic, including the documentation you should bring with you for your SNAP pre-screening.
The Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE) program can help low-income seniors remain in their homes, by exempting them from future rent increases. If you are 62 years of age or older, live in a rent-regulated apartment, and have income below $29,000/year, you may be eligible for SCRIE.
Our Legal Advocacy department appreciates the hard work and dedication of our volunteers and pro bono partners. Specifically, we acknowledge the commitment of our ongoing pro bono partners:
Katten Muchin Rosenman LP
Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP
CitiLegal Pro Bono Initiative
Our legal program’s pro bono partnership with Mayer Brown was recently featured in the New York State Bar Association Pro Bono Newsletter. Click here to read more about it.