Housing is a human right and the foundation for strong communities. Access to a safe and affordable home creates economic and community stability. This fact sheet highlights the challenges and how our staff are working to prevent evictions, help landlords address health hazards, and increase tenant financial and legal empowerment. By addressing issues early, we keep people safely housed and avoid legal system involvement that can affect employment, family security, and future access to stable housing.
While eviction is a universally stressful event, people with mental health conditions can face unique obstacles with housing retention for reasons related specifically to their disability. This guide provides a review of housing settings and specific risks of eviction for individuals with mental illness before focusing on housing court and the challenges these individuals and court personnel face therein and identifies junctures at which supportive, problem-solving interventions can ensure the necessary community supports and legal representation.
"Until you begin to deal with that hurt and that trauma on the inside, it's always going to affect you and the things that you do," says Timothy, a program manager for our Men’s Empowerment Program. We support the mental health of young men of color by helping address and break the cycle of trauma and violence in the lives of young Black and Brown men in Harlem, NYC. With a trauma-informed focus on healing, young men experience a positive shift in how they see themselves and how they can be a resource to their community and the world.
The Harlem Community Justice Center is a neighborhood-based community court committed to bridging the gap between the court and community to achieve fairness and systematic equity in housing, community health, and access to justice. We believe the community should have a voice in addressing its problems and defining justice, we and seek to empower communities to transform the systems that serve them.
As the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic impact surges across our country, now is the time to prevent evictions and keep families safely housed. In a new video, learn about how our housing help centers maintain and build secure and safe housing by empowering tenants to advocate for their rights. Staff help residents navigate Housing Court, get critical repairs, and provide them with the tools and information to prevent evictions and homelessness.
This study of the Harlem Parole Reentry Court compares participants in a neighborhood-based reentry program to similar parolees on traditional parole. Results indicate that the reentry court, which implemented a validated and reliable tool for assessing the risks and needs of individuals returning from prison, produced a 22% reduction in the reconviction rate and a 60% reduction in the felony reconviction rate over an 18-month follow-up period.
Acting Supreme Court Judge Kelly O'Neill Levy discusses her transition from Bronx Family Court to the Harlem Community Justice Center, where she applies problem-solving strategies to both family and housing cases. May 2013