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Legal Clinic for the Homeless

Cases & Credits

A homeless woman with a disabled son

Last year, Ms. F. was living in a family homeless shelter where she cared for her disabled son. After five months in the shelter, she secured an apartment and was about to sign the lease when her public assistance case was closed in error.

The Department of Homeless Services requires clients to have active public assistance cases at the time of lease signing, and so Ms. F.'s landlord threatened to give the apartment to someone else if she did not sign immediately. When Ms. F. came to the City Bar Justice Center legal clinic at her shelter, she was devastated. She had advocated on her own behalf, but her requests were not answered.

With one phone call, Ms. F.'s volunteer attorney was able to convince the State to direct the City to re-open her public assistance case pending the outcome of her fair hearing. The next week, Ms. F. and her son packed their belongings and moved out of the shelter and into their new apartment.