The Urban Justice Center was founded with two primary goals - to make legal services easily accessible to people living on the streets and in poverty, and to make social advocacy and law reform efforts directly responsive to the daily struggles of those individuals. We have developed a unique model to achieve both these ends. We do outreach legal work in various communities, and then use what we learn from that work to fuel our broader advocacy efforts. All of our projects rely on this model, or make similar efforts to unite individual stories into a collective voice for social change. We are home to 9 projects that operate independently, but share the agency's infrastructure, as well as a common commitment to finding innovative solutions to the problems of poor and vulnerable people. Impact and class action litigation are among the most powerful tools available for challenging social injustice. Through litigation, we have addressed systemic problems relating to foster care, conditions in homeless shelters, minimum wage violations, services for the mentally ill, and a host of other issues that relate to the poorest and most marginalized among us. While we litigate to effect broad social change, we rely on the firsthand insights we gain from our legal clinics and community outreach to ensure that our law reform efforts are pragmatic and responsive to the needs of the communities we serve. In addition, we compile handbooks and resource guides designed to help clients help themselves, as well as training manuals and other materials to educate and assist service providers and other advocates.
New York, NY 10012-2317