Community Organizing2020-03-19T13:01:41+00:00

Community Organizing

In 2014, we started our first community organizing project in response to the lack of participant voices and perspectives in the ongoing dialogue regarding citywide public assistance policies.

Community Organizing

Our work is shaped and guided by the Safety Net Activists, volunteer community leaders committed to fighting poverty and injustice in NYC.

In 2014, we started our first community organizing project in response to the lack of participant voices and perspectives in the ongoing dialogue regarding citywide public assistance (also known as welfare or cash assistance) policies. These policies, many draconian in nature, affect more than half a million low-income New Yorkers each year. Using hundreds of client surveys and focus groups with public assistance recipients all over the city, we released a comprehensive report, Culture of Deterrence, documenting many of the customer service problems with the public assistance system run by the Human Resources Administration (HRA). Our report showed that the current Public Assistance system all too often strips New Yorkers of their rights and dignity while denying them the benefits that they need to support themselves.

Based on the tremendous response we received from public assistance recipients in the process of developing the report, we decided to add community organizing as a central component of our efforts to create systemic change. SNP’s community organizing work is led by the Safety Net Activists, a volunteer group of community members with personal experience with poverty, homelessness, and the public benefits system, many of whom are former or current SNP clients. Since 2014, the Safety Net Activists have represented SNP at bi-monthly meetings with officials from HRA, community events, and public hearings. The SNAs are currently the only member-led group that has a standing meeting with HRA and DHS.

Poverty and homelessness strike people at all different levels, so it’s never right to stereotype someone or judge them before you hear their story.
– Jonathan

Stories of Resilience

Contact
Safety
Net
Project

We welcome your questions and comments

Main Office

40 Rector Street
New York, NY 10006

Telephone: 646.602.5600

Email: snp@urbanjustice.org

Hours

M-F: 9:00AM-6:00PM

The Safety Net Project does not conduct client intake at our Rector Street Office. For information about our services and walk-in clinics, check out our legal clinic flyer.

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The health and wellbeing of our staff and clients is of the utmost importance. While we deal with the effects of the coronavirus, our office will be closed. Our staff continues to work to serve our clients and communities, and can be contacted by email. Find out more information here. Ok