The Legal Services of NYC held their annual Jazz for Justice dinner last week at the Rose Hall in Jazz for Lincoln Center. I greatly admire the vital work of this organization, which for over 40 years, has provided free high quality legal services to low income NY residents in civil cases. Their core areas of focus are: housing, family, benefits, consumer, and education law. In addition, there are special offices that address the needs of seniors, victims of domestic violence, victims of predatory lending practices, immigrants, and people with HIV. With offices in all five boroughs, Legal Services of NYC is the largest legal services organization dedicated exclusively to providing civil legal services to low-income persons in the United States.
The work of Legal Services NYC is often the only thing keeping thousands of New Yorkers facing foreclosure and/or eviction from homelessness. With a staff of talented attorneys, paralegals, social workers and clerical workers, they provide an invaluable service to the NY community. I am always a bit teary eyed at the dinner, when they show videos of some of their heart wrenching success stories. I was reminded that 1 in 4 people in NY are living in poverty, which is a startling statistic for a supposed the greatest city in a so-called “superpower”. It really hit home that many people are only a month’s worth of paychecks away from destitution. In these tough economic times, there but for the grace of God, go all of us!
I had a wonderful time at dinner chatting with the staff (especially their garrulous office manager) and fully support their mission.
For more information: http://www.legalservicesnyc.org/