WHAT WE DO

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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, health-care 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!




Fees


NSLS never charges clients for its services.




Eligibility


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.





Success as a team

OUR IMPACT

13,000+

people benefit

from our direct legal representation each year

$2.2M+

saved by NYS taxpayers through the avoidance of emergency shelter costs and

by moving clients off welfare

1,800+

people benefitted through important collaborations with volunteer attorneys

This video was made possible thank to the generosity of 

Waterworx Digital Productions

This website is designed for general information only.  The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.

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The NSLS website has been translated by Google Translate. No automated translation is perfect nor is it intended to replace human translators. Translations are provided as a service to users of the NSLS website.  However, we cannot assure the accuracy, reliability, or correctness of any translations made from English into any other language. Legal information is also particularly difficult to translate, and the details are important.  The official text is the English version of the website.  If you need help understanding the information on our website or need legal help, please contact our offices.  Live interpreters are available.