The BAS Legal Advocacy Program provides representation, advice and advocacy to Bronx residents living with HIV/AIDS.  We provide legal assistance – free of charge – to our clients in a broad range of civil matters, including:

  • housing and eviction

  • denial or termination of public benefits

  • domestic violence issues

  • custody and care of children

  • future care and planning

Each year, we help hundreds of clients avoid eviction, keep themselves safe and their families intact, and maintain the income necessary for them to meet their basic needs.

Homelessness Prevention Project

According to the New York City Department of Investigation, there were 7,763 residential evictions in the Bronx in 2006.  Homelessness can be particularly devastating for persons living with HIV/AIDS, whose access to and maintenance in primary medical care has been directly correlated with the stability of their housing.  We provide legal advice and/or representation in housing court cases on behalf of clients facing eviction in nonpayment or holdover proceedings.  Project attorneys also provide advocacy to force landlords to make necessary repairs to bring apartments into compliance with the City’s housing code.

Equal Access to Income and Care Project

Our clients predominantly rely on various forms of government assistance to meet their basic needs.  We assist clients with advocating before City agencies (incuding the HIV/AIDS Services Administration) and in administrative hearings to obtain or maintain their public shelter and cash benefits, federal housing subsidies, food stamps, Medicaid, or Social Security (SSI/SSD) benefits.  Program staff also help clients with executing health care proxies, living wills, powers of attorney and last will and testaments.

Family Law Project

Clients seeking to navigate the Family Court system can receive legal assistance in a variety of matters, including custody, guardianship and future care, visitation, abuse and neglect, child support and adoptions.

Domestic Violence Survivor’s Initiative

Domestic violence survivors receive legal advice and representation in obtaining orders of protection, as well as in housing cases and family court matters, from staff who specialize in the unique interconnections between domestic violence and HIV.  Our comprehensive approach to a survivor’s legal issues includes referrals to community-based domestic violence service providers.

Permanency Planning Initiative

Under New York law, a parent with a qualifying illness such as HIV/AIDS may designate another adult as a Standby Guardian of his or her minor children, should the parent become temporarily or permanently incapacitated or deceased.  Legal Advocacy Program staff counsel parents on their permanency planning options for their children, and assist clients with preparing these written designations or filing in court for judicially-appointed guardians.

Consumer Rights Project

Clients can obtain legal advice or representation in dealing with utility shut-offs, educational loan collections, or other debt-related legal issues.    

Workshops/Trainings

To empower those whose lives are affected by HIV/AIDS to advocate effectively on their own behalf, the staff at the Legal Advocacy Program regularly present workshops and trainings on topics such as:

  • HIV confidentiality

  •  testing and partner notification

  • housing rights

  •  access to public benefits

  • consumer law

  • future care and permanency planning

  • domestic violence
     

Workshops are conducted at our offices, and at sites throughout the Bronx.

The Legal Advocacy Program receives referrals from many
sources, including judges, clients, case managers, lawyers and
health care providers.  The Legal Advocacy Program can assist you
if you are an HIV+ resident of the Bronx, or your organization
provides services to HIV+ Bronx residents.

 

Legal Advocacy Intakes (walk-in, no appointment necessary):

540 E. Fordham Road:  Tuesdays and Thursdays 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
953 Southern Boulevard:   1st Monday of every month 9:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Home and hospital intakes are available for individuals who are physically unable to travel to our office locations. 

For more information about our services, call (718) 295-5598,
Monday through Friday, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

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For more information
about our services, call
(718) 295-5598,
Monday through Friday,
between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

 

Bronx AIDS Services, Inc.