Legal Aid Society

Projects, Units & Initiatives

Homeless Rights Project

The Homeless Rights Project (HRP) protects and enforces the rights of homeless families and individuals in New York City. We represent groups and individuals who come to us through our toll-free helpline, referrals, and our ongoing outreach at shelter intake sites. The Project also serves as counsel to the Coalition for the Homeless, a nonprofit organization providing advocacy, programs, and direct services for homeless individuals and families in New York City.

The Homeless Rights Project serves as class counsel on a number of landmark impact litigation matters, including Callahan v. Carey, which established the right to shelter in New York City for single homeless men. Callahan laid the groundwork for courts to extend this right to other homeless New Yorkers in Eldredge (single homeless women), McCain/Boston (homeless families with minor children and pregnant women), and the C.W. settlement (runaway and homeless youth). HRP is currently monitoring and enforcing a settlement in Butler v. City of New York, which ensures all New Yorkers with disabilities who need shelter can meaningfully access it.

Most recently, HRP has been engaged in negotiations with New York City and New York State regarding the nature of shelter and services provided to new arrivals from the southern border. HRP is representing many recent migrants on issues related to disability accommodations, their right to safe shelter, and their freedom to express and live their identities and religious beliefs.

Learn more about our law reform work on our litigation docket.

Policy Advocacy

HRP works closely with community and fellow advocacy partners on issues relating to homelessness and housing in both the New York State legislature and the New York City Council. HRP staff regularly testify before State and City legislatures and comment on policies and regulatory changes. HRP also sits on numerous coalitions and task forces to advocate for additional resources for homeless New Yorkers. 

Advocacy Resources


  • Contact the Homeless Rights Helpline at 800-649-9125 Monday – Friday 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
  • If you need access to shelter, please click here for intake information.