NYLAG and UJA-Federation of New York Collaborate to Help New Yorker's Affected by the Economic Recession
Thursday, July 02, 2009
- Organization: New York Legal Assistance Group
NYLAG’s General Legal Services Unit has joined with the UJAFederation
of New York to provide free legal services to people finding
themselves in financial crisis because of the current economic recession.
UJA-Federation of New York’s Connect to Care program was recently
launched and involves a collaborative effort from social service agencies
that fall under the UJA umbrella to provide assistance in areas
of need such as financial counseling and unemployment. As a participating
member of UJA-Federation’s Connect to Care, NYLAG is providing
legal assistance in money management and budgeting, debt and
credit counseling, mortgage refinancing and foreclosure prevention
The New York City Independent Budget Office estimates that the city
will lose 270,000 jobs between 2008 and 2010. Nationwide, the poverty
rate is expected to increase half a percent from 2007 levels by August 2009.
Low-income New Yorkers and previously middle class citizens are experiencing extreme financial strains and face joblessness and homelessness.
Through UJA-Federation’s Connect to Care, UJA is funding and facilitating
social and legal services throughout its vast network of agencies for those hardest hit by the recession. NYLAG, Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, F·E·G·S., Sid Jacobson JCC, Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services, Samuel Field Y, and JCC of Staten Island
are working together to provide employment and career transition assistance, legal services, financial and debt counseling, and budget assistance at regional centers throughout the five boroughs
and Westchester and Suffolk counties. Spiritual counseling services
are also available to the Jewish community through this initiative. Regional
centers have been established at the participating agencies, allowing clients
to access services in a variety of places, whether it be near their
home or place of employment.
NYLAG staff members working on UJA-Federation’s Connect to
Care include attorneys, paralegals, and financial counselors. The financial
counselors will be working both at NYLAG’s main office and
on-site at participating agencies. NYLAG advocates will expand its
outreach as well as facilitate workshops, using a newly developed
curriculum, in an effort to comprehensively distribute services. The
workshops will include basic budgeting, tips for saving money,
and prioritizing expenses. UJA-Federation of New York’s Connect
to Care initiative is designed to comprehensively and proactively
help individuals who may have never before worried about
how to make ends meet, how to prioritize expenses or how to live
within a budget, and who suddenly find themselves with a lack
of assets and income.