Legal Aid's Civil Practice Recognized For Assistance For Homeless Survivors Of Superstorm Sandy
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 03, 2014
Adriene Holder, the Attorney-in-Charge of the Society's Civil Practice; Judith Goldiner, the Attorney-in-Charge of the Society's Civil Practice Law Reform Unit; and Joshua Goldfein, a Staff Attorney in the Society's Civil Practice Homeless Rights Project, accept the New York Disaster Interfaith Service award.

New York Disaster Interfaith Services (NYDIS), a faith-based relief organization, honored The Legal Aid Society's Civil Practice and its partner Project Hospitality for the work the Society did with those two organizations to assist homeless survivors of Superstorm Sandy. The NYDIS award for the Society was accepted by Adriene Holder, the Attorney-in-Charge of the Society's Civil Practice; Judith Goldiner, the Attorney-in-Charge of the Society's Civil Practice Law Reform Unit; and Joshua Goldfein, a Staff Attorney in the Society's Civil Practice Homeless Rights Project.

In April 2013, after the prior City administration sought to cut off payments to hotels sheltering Sandy evacuees who still lacked permanent housing, The Legal Aid Society went to court to require the City to continue those payments for more than 1,000 children and adults who had not yet been able to relocate to permanent housing. Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP served as pro bono counsel in the litigation. With a court order in place requiring continued hotel payments through September, the majority of the affected children and adults were able to obtain newly released federal housing assistance and other aid to move from the hotels to permanent housing. When the case ended in October, 100 households remained in hotels, and NYDIS, formed in the wake of the 9/11 attacks to distribute disaster relief for the faith-based community, and Project Hospitality, a leading provider of social services on Staten Island, stepped in and worked with Legal Aid staff to help these evacuees remain stable while they completed their relocation process. Working closely with Legal Aid staff, NYDIS, Project Hospitality, and Disaster Case Managers from community-based organizations, almost all of those households have moved into better housing options, and the few who remain expect to be able to move soon. Legal Aid staff working on this effort include Nancy Dalien, Judith Goldiner, Joshua Goldfein, Young Lee, Nisa Sheikh, and Fazeela Siddiqui.