MFY Legal Services has worked with a coalition of 17 organizations led by CSH to develop recommendations that help to improve access to supportive, affordable, public, and market rate housing for individuals leaving incarceration. If adopted, these policy reforms would end reliance on unstable and unsafe housing; improve access to supportive and other affordable housing […]
Housing advocates in New York City denounced Airbnb’s proposed Home Sharing Rules for New York in a statement released October 21, 2016, arguing that the rules are unenforceable and will legitimize Airbnb’s illegal business practices, which contribute to the loss of affordable housing, create unlivable conditions for tenants in residential buildings, and make unsuspecting tenants […]
Tenants of three-quarter houses, along with MFY Legal Services, Neighbors Together, VOCAL-NY and other organizations supporting tenants’ rights rallied at City Hall today to support five bills to improve the lives of these tenants. Holding signs reading “Dear Landlord: My Health Is None of Your Business!,” tenants urged passage of Intro. 1168, which would make […]
Voices of Community Activists & Leaders (VOCAL-NY), a statewide grassroots membership organization dedicated to empowering low-income people, has joined MFY and Neighbors Together in our campaign to organize three-quarter house tenants and advocate for greater protections for these residents. On Thursday, October 6, we will rally at City Hall at 12:30 pm to support five […]
MFY Legal Services mourns the death of Deborah Danner, a 66-year-old African-American woman who was shot by police who were called to her Bronx apartment after neighbors reported she was acting erratically.
Each year MFY provides legal assistance to thousands of New Yorkers who have mental illness and who live in the community. Like Ms. Danner, most are able to live active, productive lives with the help of treatment and support from mental health professionals, family, and community. But on occasion, treatment fails or something occurs to cause a person with mental illness to decompensate.
In many cases when police are called they are able to help calm an agitated person, and many police departments now have special teams that are trained to appropriately handle these situations. Ms. Danner, in an article she wrote in 2012, was well aware of the dangers faced by people with mental illness when they interact with police: “We are all aware of the all too frequent news stories about the mentally ill who come up against law enforcement instead of mental health professionals and end up dead.”
In her article, Ms. Danner speaks positively of the support she was receiving from a therapist and the ongoing acceptance and support she received from her church. The situation would undoubtedly have ended differently if someone from her support network had been called in to help. And at a time when public attention is focused on police killings of African-Americans, one may wonder whether police would have been as quick to take aim against a white woman. All police officers need specialized training in order to respond appropriately to situations like Ms. Danner’s, and the protocols on calling in mental health professionals need to be vigorously observed and strengthened if tragedies like this are to be prevented in the future.
MFY Legal Services Endorses
The Joint Statement from NLADA and the Shriver Center
Members of the legal aid and public defender community were horrified and outraged by the killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. Two more Black lives taken by those who ostensibly serve and protect. We must find a better path toward justice for our society and for people of color. A first step for our community is to state firmly that we stand in solidarity with the Black community and against the racial inequality that still plagues our nation.
We affirm what should be undeniable—Black Lives Matter. The recurring violence against Black people is but an extreme manifestation of our society’s persistent racism, which denies the Black community, and other communities of color, the right and opportunity to be safe and healthy, to work and live with dignity, and to flourish. Read entire statement here.
If you have applied or tried to recertify for New York City Transit Authority's Access-A-Ride program, or if you will do so in the future, please read these important documents regarding a proposed settlement of a class action lawsuit: Proposed Settlement and Class Notice.
Tens of thousands of low-income New Yorkers who were victims of abusive debt collectors won an unprecedented victory on November 12, 2015 when a settlement was reached, ending a six-year battle to achieve justice for low-income New Yorkers whose bank accounts were restrained or wages garnished after default judgments based on “sewer service” were entered against them.
“Thousands of low-income people across the state suffered severe financial consequences as a result of the callous and illegal actions of the three sets of defendants,” said MFY Supervising Attorney Carolyn Coffey, who co-counseled the case with Senior Staff Attorney Ariana Lindermeyer, and with the New Economy Project and Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady. “We expect this settlement will have far-reaching consequences across the debt-collection chain and will help to put an end to predatory practices by debt buyers and the law firms and process serving companies that work with them.”
MFY envisions a society in which there is equal justice for all.
MFY’s mission is to achieve social justice, prioritizing the needs of people who are low-income, disenfranchised or have disabilities. We do this through providing the highest quality direct civil legal assistance, providing community education, entering into partnerships, engaging in policy advocacy, and bringing impact litigation.
Our practice areas include:
Mental Health Consumers
Adult Home Residents
Public Benefits Recipients
Nursing Home Residents
Three-Quarter House Residents