The Center for Community Justice offers direct support to members, their families and to the broader community in immigration, health care access, housing, and gaining access to public benefits programs.
Philosophy of the Center
The Center for Community Justice (CJ) provides social services for our communities in the South Bronx as well as other sectors in the New York City area. Through proactive concern this project provides a variety of assistance including immigration services, benefit information and advocacy. Initially, the client is provided with an in-depth interview in order to obtain vital information that can expedite their case. The information is then thoroughly researched via benefit manuals and data regarding current law and regulations. A benefits calculator is often used to determine the allotted amount and pertinent service that is due. This information is then supplied to our client and an application is usually filed. At times it is necessary to advocate by mediating in a fair hearing trial, attending housing negotiations or telephoning an agency to rectify an ongoing crisis. For a majority of our clients, who are Latino, language is a barrier that prohibits them in making proper contact with city agencies. Therefore, translations are an important part of CJ service.
Today, Immigration Policy is at the foreground of political life as our nation struggles to reach consensus on what the future America will look like. At CJ we are committed in helping our eligible constituents become American Citizens. Through consultations and application filing this population will be well on their way to achieving the American Dream. Contacting USCIS Offices to obtain Case Status information and making appointments to speak with an USCIS Officer are other services provided. In order to keep abreast on current policy, law and available benefits, CJ personnel continuously attend numerous workshops sponsored by various city and not-for-profit agencies. Attending these workshops will guarantee program success and assure our clients that they are receiving updated information.
In general, our clients often visit CJ in order to overcome a worry or satisfy a quest. Compassion is the key factor to our approach in relieving some of these burdens. The client is assured that their privacy is protected; all records are safely filed and case discussions are kept at a program level.
Services Provided: (We Speak Spanish)
- Immigration: Consultations, Application Filing, Legal Referrals
- Housing: Applications, Recertification, discrepancies
- Food Stamps: Application, Recertification
- Health Care: Medicare, Medicaid, EPIC, Home Attendant, FHP
- Employment: Opportunities, Resumes
- Transportation: Access-A-Ride, Senior Discounts
- Utilities: WRAP, Life-Line, HEAP, payment plans
- Court Assistance: Fair Hearing Representative
Goals and Expectations
The Center for Community Justice (CJ) is one of the few benefit providers that assist and link our community to immigration and social services. We have already outreached to hundreds of clients in the metropolitan area and have helped save thousands of dollars in benefit entitlements. Although we have not fully advertised CJ we have managed to acquire a good number of steady clientele – simply by reputation. In the near future, CJ will also open their doors in St. Anthony’s convent, located 1492 Commonwealth Avenue, in the South Bronx. This expansion will broaden our outreach to the immigrant and people of need community outside of our immediate district. CJ will also concentrate on initiating an education component. This element will provide programs including ESL, civics class for “naturalizing” new Americans and GED geared for Spanish speakers. These steps will further develop our program and help in the process towards expediting our clients’ needs.