Low-income Manhattan seniors face daunting challenges in their efforts to live independently in their own homes. With one in five seniors living at or below the federal poverty level and their average income only half of the county median, growing numbers of seniors live one crisis away from homelessness as they try to make their fixed retirement or disability income cover the rising costs of housing, utilities, food, medicine and transportation.
With support from the New York City Department for the Aging (DFTA), MFY’s Manhattan Seniors Project provides a broad range of high quality civil legal services to seniors, including housing, benefits, health care, consumer, and abuse issues, prioritizing those at risk of losing their housing and independence. The project is also part of an assigned counsel program in partnership with DFTA social workers to defend seniors who are facing imminent eviction and who need both legal and social work help to resolve their housing problem.
The Manhattan Seniors Project provides community-based legal education at senior and community centers, Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities (NORCs), and senior supportive housing facilities. The project works closely with social service providers throughout Manhattan to enhance the ability of case managers and social workers to provide accurate information to seniors and to make timely and appropriate referrals to legal services.
The project is supported by grants from the New York City Department for the Aging, the New York State Department of Criminal Justice Services, and the Manhattan Borough President.