Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation A (Brooklyn A) was established in 1967 in accordance with the original vision of the national legal service program:
- Providing services in the low-income neighborhoods where our clients live;
- Developing programs and staff that are part of those communities
- Working to advance social and economic justice in the communities we serve.
Brooklyn A has been assisting low-income individuals and families throughout Brooklyn by providing them with free and accessible legal aid. The nearly 6,000 people who walk through our doors annually are often faced with losing their homes, a poor quality of life, negligent landlords, and discrimination. They may be survivors of domestic abuse or persons living with HIV/AIDS, sometimes they are people living in extreme poverty, and often they are members of a community who fell victim to bad business practices or are deeply in debt and face foreclosure like so many people living in America today. We seek to protect the basic rights of our clients while providing them with the opportunities and resources to uplift themselves and their greater community at large.
Due to the fact that we work with some of the poorest individuals in our city, it is our priority to not only protect these individuals from the sort of discrimination they experience on a regular basis but to empower them to fight for themselves. We seek to protect the rights of our clients while making them aware of what their rights are as recipients of public housing, Social Security, child support, and citizens of New York City. In our efforts to strengthen our communities, Brooklyn A has a strong Community and Economic Development component. We work to raise money for community-initiated projects such as saving buildings from abandonment, rehabilitating properties, supporting the development of green and sustainable buildings, and protecting tenant’s rights in rapidly gentrifying areas.
Forty-nine years of experience has dictated to us that solely providing people with legal aid for the hurdles they face is akin to treating only the symptoms of a greater illness. Thusly while we seek to defend the rights and dignity of our clients against unlawful, demeaning conditions, we also work shoulder to shoulder with grassroots organizations to build and sustain the community and its infrastructure. Organizations like Brownsville Multi-Service Health Center work with us to provide health care for our clients with their unique approach to integrated patient care, treating patients through a committee system of specialists and general practitioners, as well as social workers and support groups. We work with Los Sures, which, among a roster of other amazing services, helps to manage tenant owned and run co-ops throughout Brooklyn, empowering individuals and communities to manage their own resources.
It is thanks to the tireless efforts of all of our employees, attorneys, interns, volunteers and outstanding members of the community that we are able to provide the services that we do. However, none of it would be possible without the generous donations and support we receive from institutions and individuals who recognize the power and importance of Legal Services. Our organization has been a beacon of hope for so many people over the past 49 years, not the least of which are those of us who work with around these amazing and resilient communities.
BROOKLYN A HISTORICAL TIMELINE
Visit the following links to glimpse into Brooklyn A’s history, decade-by-decade:
SNAPSHOTS OF BROOKLYN A
[portfolio_slideshow id=250 size=large]