We launched in a burned-out building in East Harlem in 1984 to provide legal and social support to individuals and families with nowhere else to turn.
We were founded as the Legal Action Center for the Homeless. Our goal was to provide community legal services in soup kitchens and food pantries to individuals and families left with nowhere else to turn.
To this day, we continue to offer free, frequent, and easily accessible legal clinics located in established community-based organizations throughout the city.
Along the way, we’ve won significant victories for economic justice. In 2008, we settled federal lawsuit Williston v. Eggleston with New York City’s Human Resources Administration (HRA) and New York State’s Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA), which addressed a systematic breakdown in the processing of SNAP (Food Stamp) applications. We continue to monitor SNAP issues to this day so that everyday New Yorkers have access to healthy, nutritious food.
In early 2013, we changed our name to the Safety Net Project to better reflect the full spectrum of our services. The following year we opened an office at the Union Community Health Center in the Bronx, offering free legal services for community members in the Bronx seeking help with critical housing and benefits issues.
We are proud members of New York City’s Right to Counsel initiative in Bronx Housing Court. This historic initiative, which is the first of its kind in the country, ensures that New York City’s poorest tenants have access to an attorney to represent them in housing court in order to prevent evictions and ensure safe and adequate housing conditions.