AABANY announced on May 28, 2021, that through the Pro Bono & Community Service (PBCS) Committee, Government Service & Public Interest (GSPI) Committee and the Student Outreach Committee (SOC), it established a phone line to aid limited English proficient (LEP) applicants in applying for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) and Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program, also known as Section 8. Section 8 is a government rental housing program that allows low-income families, the elderly and disabled to rent privately-owned and safe housing. Applicants will be selected by the New York State Homes & Community Renewal (NYSHCR) agency’s Section 8 Voucher Waitlist Lottery. The deadline for application is May 28, 11:59 AM ET. As for ERAP, the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) is offering a program that provides rental and utility assistance to eligible New York residents who owe arrears. Households will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis, as long as funds remain available.
When applying for housing and aid, many LEP applicants have had difficulty finding language assistance. AABANY hopes to help LEP applicants who do not have electronic access in completing the application by telephone. Interested applicants may contact (929) 251-3022 or firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a time with an AABANY volunteer to receive aid in contacting HCR and the OTDA.
To view AABANY’s flyer about the Section 8 Waitlist Lottery, click on the image above.
To read more about AABANY’s efforts to aid the Chinese LEP community, click here.
On Thursday, April 11, AABANY hosted a screening of “Blowin’ Up,” a feature documentary that explores the complex realities of sex work in New York City and the compassionate approach of a human trafficking court in Queens County. The film features AABANY member Honorable Toko Serita, Queens Supreme Court, as well as other heroines of the Human Trafficking Intervention Court, that work with victims of sexual exploitation who face prostitution-related charges.
After the screening, Beatrice Leong, AABANY Government Service and Public Interest Committee Co-Chair, led a panel discussion featuring speakers from the NYPD/FBI Joint Human Trafficking Task Force and a Queens Assistant District Attorney who prosecutes human traffickers. The panelists talked about how they worked together to prosecute the traffickers and how one can identify and help a suspected trafficking victim. The panel gave important insight into how gangs and traffickers target their victims, and the audience learned that many victims are new immigrants, local high school students or children in the foster care system. “Drugs can only be used once, but a person can be used over and over.”
On March 28, the Government Service and Public Interest (GSPI) and Pro Bono Committees enjoyed some traditional Chinese delicacies at Bite of Hong Kong in Chinatown. The committees gathered for a joint year-end celebration to thank and recognize members and volunteers that made the Pro Bono Clinics, trainings, panels, and other activities a success this past year.
Thank you to everyone who attended the dinner. Thanks also to our Committee Chairs for their leadership: Kevin Hsi, Beatrice Leong and Jonathan Hernandez (GSPI); and Karen Yau, Pauline Yeung-Ha, Judy Lee and Asako Aiba. To learn more about the Pro Bono Clinic and get involved, click here. To learn more about the GSPI Committee, go here. To learn more about the Pro Bono Committee, go here.
New York State Rules of Professional Conduct strongly encourage attorneys to perform pro bono legal and other services to benefit low-income people. 22 NYCRR Part 1200, Rule 6.1. The Office of Court Administration requires attorneys to complete an anonymous report of voluntary pro bono services and monetary contributions when completing their Attorney Registration.
This past year, AABANY’s Government Service Public Interest and Pro Bono and Community Services Committees have been committed to providing AABANY members a greater range of pro bono opportunities. The purpose of this survey is to gauge everyone’s interest in the pro bono initiatives listed below, so that we can determine how to best allocate AABANY resources. Training will be provided to you prior to your participation and will likely offer CLE credits.
There are many reasons to attend our Government Service and Public Interest Committee events. A chief one among them is that you will meet very interesting people and learn very interesting information.
Specialized High School admissions process, in the after-event reception, I met a deputy director of the Municipal ID Program and learned that its capacity has recently increased greatly. Interested persons can get appointments almost immediately.