WHAT WE DO
Poverty Law Experts
We are highly experienced in poverty law and, from our beginnings, have focused on cases dealing with the survival needs of people with low incomes, involving shelter, food, healthcare and family issues.
Public benefit programs and the preservation of housing are priority areas. We help our clients combat the serious housing problems they face, especially relating to evictions, poor housing conditions and foreclosures. We are also committed to ensuring that government benefits, particularly public assistance, Medicaid, SNAP benefits (food stamps), SSI, and emergency services including temporary shelter, are provided fairly to those who are eligible.
Given the significant prevalence of homelessness on Long Island, we have devoted a large portion of our resources to preserving housing.
Three of our lawsuits, Sharp, Holmes and Golding, resulted in judicial orders to the Department of Social Services to supplement rental payments for homeless or near-homeless families as an alternative to placing them in shelters. With thousands of families intervened in these lawsuits, NSLS became a major facilitator of affordable housing for low-income people on Long Island. This litigation has evolved into the current institutionalized rent supplement programs through the Department of Social Services, including the Shelter Supplement Program.
Our Education and Disability Rights Project serves students experiencing homelessness by representing students in residency disputes and assisting them to access services and transportation.
Outreach and Community Education
We have developed innovative programs that rely heavily on community education, outreach, and partnership with lay advocates.
The Legal Support Center for Advocates together with our direct service programs, provide extensive outreach, sponsor advocate and client training events, disseminate educational materials and participate in corporate-sponsored and government-sponsored informational events.
The Law Services News, our agency newsletter, has a wide distribution and is supplemented by our free e-news feature, Legal Lessons. Subscribe here!
NSLS never charges clients for its services.
Eligibility for most of our services is income-based.
Programs serving special populations such as people with mental illness or HIV/AIDS do not have financial eligibility guidelines although case acceptance depends on the program’s limited resources. Immigration status is a consideration as well.
We do not provide legal assistance in criminal, personal injury or immigration cases.
from our direct legal representation each year
saved by NYS taxpayers through the avoidance of emergency shelter costs and
by moving clients off welfare
people benefitted through important collaborations with volunteer attorneys
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