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Legal Services Will Open Office To Meet Legal Needs of Rapidly Growing Number of Staten Islanders in Poverty

Monday, December 06, 2004

  • Organization: LSNY

LEGAL SERVICES WILL OPEN OFFICE TO MEET LEGAL NEEDS OF
RAPIDLY GROWING NUMBER OF STATEN ISLANDERS IN POVERTY

With the number of Staten Island residents in poverty soaring by nearly 50% over the last decade, Legal Services for New York City (LSNY) will open a new office on the Island to provide free legal services for the poor on December 8, 2004.

The new Staten Island office, which will be located at 36 Richmond Terrace directly across from the ferry terminal, will become the latest addition to a network of 19 offices providing free civil legal services to low-income New Yorkers. The Staten Island office plans to provide assistance on problems related to family law, welfare, food stamps, bankruptcy, education, foreclosure prevention and other issues.

More than 56,000 Staten Islanders-about 13% of the borough's population-now have incomes less than 125% of the federal poverty level. That translates into an income of $300 a week for a family of two. In addition, a recent study shows that of all five boroughs, Staten Island has the highest percentage of hungry families who need help but do not take advantage of Food Stamps or other emergency food services.

Nancy Goldhill, a legal services lawyer with more than two decades of experience advocating for the rights of disadvantaged people before the courts and the legislature, will head the office. Ms. Goldhill comes to Staten Island from Legal Services of New Jersey, where she was Vice President and statewide Director of Litigation Support. She has participated in many cases concerning the rights of homeless families, domestic violence victims, and parents threatened with the loss of their children. Working with Ms. Goldhill will be staff attorneys Leah Cover and Susanna Saul.

"I am excited about the opportunity to build a new Legal Services program for a community with so much need," said Ms. Goldhill in announcing the opening of the new office. "I especially look forward to working with the many effective agencies and leaders who are already hard at work serving Staten Island's low income population."

Terry Troia, Executive Director of Project Hospitality, expressed excitement about the opening of the new LSNY office on Staten Island. "There is a desperate need for more legal help on the Island as the number of homeless and hungry people continues to rise, and Legal Services is a critical addition to the network of support services low-income Staten Islanders depend on."

LSNY, funded by the federal, state and city grants as well as private foundations and donors, has served low-income New Yorkers for more than 35 years.

There will be a press conference at LSNY Staten Island at 3:15 on Wednesday December 8, followed by an Open House for the community from 4:00 - 6:00.

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