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Legal Clinic for the Homeless


The Legal Clinic for the Homeless staff and volunteer attorneys provide advice, advocacy and representation to residents of homeless shelters on a variety of matters related to public benefits. The Project sponsors legal clinics at homeless shelters, with services provided by a partnering law firm or corporate legal department.

More than 41,000 people, including 17,000 children, sleep in the city's homeless shelters each night. Thousands more spend each night on the street or in abandoned buildings. The current economic climate has led to significant increases in the cost of food, transportation and housing, creating a fresh layer of barriers for the city's homeless.

legal clinic lisa client
Lisa Pearlstein (right), LCH Director, with a client.

The Legal Clinic for the Homeless, started in 1991, primarily assists homeless families and those at risk of homelessness in New York City to secure state and federal public benefits, vital tools in poverty prevention and alleviation. Project advocates contest denials and reductions of food stamps, public assistance and Medicaid at administrative hearings. They also work to ensure that homeless immigrant clients who are victims of domestic violence and other violent crimes are referred to immigration lawyers. 

For more information, please view our Legal Clinic for the Homeless Report.