Legal Aid Society

A Day In The Life

Finding Shelter for New Yorkers in the Homeless Rights Project

As a staff attorney in our Homeless Rights Project, Kathryn represents clients as they seek shelter and advocates for better housing solutions. Kathryn is making a difference for those experiencing homelessness.

Kathryn first came to our Homeless Rights Project as an intern. After graduating law school, she returned to the Project as an Equal Justice Works Fellow, sponsored in part by our partner law firm Sidley Austin LLP and KPMG. Kathryn spearheaded the Project’s outreach work, staffing a client hotline as well as spending days at the PATH offices with Legal Aid’s Mobile Justice Unit to provide information and resources to homeless New Yorkers. As a staff member, Kathryn continues doing outreach work, in addition to direct legal representation and provides support for the Homeless Rights’ Project’s impact litigation cases.

We try to bring our cases from the ground-up by just seeing the issues our clients are dealing with.

Kathryn strongly believes that her work at PATH makes a real difference for clients. Instead of waiting for at-risk clients to reach out to us, Kathryn says “we’re able to meet them where they are.” At PATH, Kathryn can explain the shelter application process to homeless families and give them advice about their cases so that they can navigate the difficult process and achieve stability while they search for permanent housing.

We’ve been able to change the way the city deals with these issues.

Kathryn’s work goes well beyond outreach. As a staff attorney, she represents clients as they navigate a complex shelter system. In addition, Kathryn and her colleagues work to change some of the systemic issues that their clients are facing. Just recently, she worked with some colleagues who were representing asylum seekers. As these asylum seeking clients tried to apply for shelter, the city was taking steps that could put them in harm’s way – like contacting relatives in home countries, or even suggesting they return back to those countries. Kathryn partnered with these attorneys to take a stand for these clients, changing the way in which asylum seekers are treated during the shelter application process. Kathryn and her colleagues are making a difference for New Yorkers seeking housing.

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