CONNECTICUT PARENT ADVOCACY CENTER
Connecticut Parent Advocacy Center (CPAC) is an organization that supports the families of children with any disability or chronic illness. YULAA volunteers are tasked with helping families explore their procedural options. This might include helping them consider whether or not to file a state complaint for lack of Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE), or reach out to families needing an assessment to evaluate food insecurity or if mental health services are needed. Lastly, volunteers may conduct Know Your Rights sessions about special education with new guidance due to COVID-19.
MENTAL HEALTH CONNECTICUT
Mental Health Connecticut (MHC) is a mental health advocacy, service, and education organization. YULAA volunteers are tasked with gathering research in the form of statistics, data, and stories regarding the treatment of Black people, POC, and minority populations within the psychiatric and substance use arenas in Connecticut. This includes: rate of restraints/seclusion, forced treatment (in community-based care this is known as Involuntary Outpatient Treatment), length of stay in inpatient care, and any other specific data and information that sheds light on systemic racism and disparities in treatment.
NHLAA PROJECT ASSIGNMENTS/ TRANSLATION / RENTAL ASSISTANCE
New Haven Legal Assistance Association (NHLAA) is one of the largest legal aid organizations in New Haven. YULAA volunteers assist NHLAA attorneys with projects and cases they are working on as they seek to provide legal aid services to the New Haven community. YULAA volunteers also serve as translators in a variety of languages to help NHLAA attorneys and staff communicate with clients in need. Language skills are required for NHLAA translation. This year, YULAA members will also be assisting with rental assistance applications.
CONNECTICUT VETERANS LEGAL CENTER
The Connecticut Veterans Legal Center (CVLC) serves some of the state's most vulnerable veterans. YULAA has partnered with CVLC to work on the issue of discharge upgrades, helping those veterans who cannot gain access to VA benefits and medical care to appeal the VA's decision to deny that individual services. YULAA volunteers are tasked with researching the latest news from the Department of Veterans Affairs and creating Know Your Rights materials and videos for CVLC’s clients. Video-editing and production skills are preferred for this project.
THE UMBRELLA CENTER FOR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SERVICES
The Umbrella Center for Domestic Violence Services (UCDVS) is an organization that seeks to empower victims of domestic violence through advocacy, counseling, and case management. One group of YULAA volunteers is leading an outreach project to local attorneys in order to secure pro-bono services for families and clients facing domestic violence. This project will ultimately include preparing a pamphlet of resources describing how to reach out to these attorneys and how to inquire about the issue areas they should be familiar with (family court, restraining orders, and custody and visitation law, for example). In addition, a second group of YULAA volunteers is tasked with producing two Know Your Rights videos, one that addresses the needs of immigrant communities in New Haven facing domestic violence and another that addresses the recent federal rollbacks of Title IX protections on university campuses to be used as a resource for students across the state. Video-editing and production skills are preferred for this project.
JUNTA & APOSTLE IMMIGRANT SERVICES
JUNTA and Apostle Immigrant Services (AIS) are two New Haven organizations that work to protect and empower immigrant communities. For JUNTA, YULAA volunteers research developments in national and state immigration law, bringing that information back to the organization and synthesizing it into Know Your Rights workshops, videos, and pamphlets. For AIS, YULAA volunteers assist attorneys in asylum seeker cases, completing research on conditions in clients’ countries of origin. Volunteers will also be helping AIS with its social media, website, and grant applications. If conditions permit, in-person volunteers will help aspiring Americans study for their civics test, which is a critical component of the naturalization process. For JUNTA, graphic design and video-editing skills are preferred. For both JUNTA and AIS, proficiency in Spanish is heavily preferred.
PARTNERSHIP FOR STRONG COMMUNITIES:
YULAA is partnering with Partnership for Strong Communities (PSC) and Connecticut Fair Housing, statewide nonprofit policy and advocacy organizations dedicated to ending homelessness, expanding affordable housing, and building strong communities in Connecticut. Decisions on housing development proposals are made at the local municipal level, and with 169 municipalities, it is difficult for the Partnership to understand the larger themes around affordable housing opposition and support. To that end, YULAA enlists volunteers to monitor local affordable housing development activities and local responses.
NHLAA SCHOOL-BASED LEGAL CLINICS:
Continuing its long-standing relationship with SBLC, YULAA is partnering with NHLAA to offer support in intake for social services for families in New Haven public elementary schools. These cases often related to evictions, housing law, social support, domestic violence, etc. Students help run these clinics and complete intake forms for NHLAA.
CENTER FOR FAMILY JUSTICE
The Center For Family Justice, Inc is a 501 (c) (3) non -profit corporation working to end domestic and sexual violence and abuse in our communities. The Center’s mission and services assist survivors of violence and abuse and promote social change by providing: crisis intervention to secure safety for individuals and families experiencing violence and provide tools for first responders and bystanders to assist victims; restorative services that promote healing, empowerment, and self sufficiency by building survivors’ economic, social and emotional assets to mitigate long term effects of violence in their lives; and prevention education to stop the violence before it happens and create healthy and inclusive communities. YULAA offers support in CFJ's pro bono and Legal Court & Court Advocacy.
OPEN DOORS SHELTER
Open Doors strives to make a direct impact in the greater Norwalk area by guiding every person in the cycle of homelessness towards housing stability. YULAA members will design and hold workshops to educate staff/clients on the legal rights of tenants, how the eviction process works, and the role of Unite CT. Additionally, they will meet one-on-one with clients to review their housing status and may assist with rental assistance applications.
Resource Access Mapping Project (RAMP)
Though New Haven is a resource-dense city, access to these resources for many in the community is limited by a lack of reliable information. This is especially true for refugees, asylum seekers, undocumented immigrants, and people returning home after incarceration. RAMP (Resource Access Mapping Project) is working to fill this information gap by making an interactive, multilingual mobile and phone app with up-to-date information about resources in town. YULAA helps with resource mapping and literacy by authoring “resource guides” that will become part of the mobile platform.
CONNECTICUT LEGAL SERVICES (CLS)
Connecticut Legal Services -- Connecticut's largest not for profit law firm -- provides access to justice and protects the critical civil legal rights of low-income individuals and families through representation, systemic advocacy, advice, collaboration, and education. YULAA volunteers are tasked with analyzing census data to determine how CLS should allocate its aid resources over the next decade.
STATEWIDE LEGAL SERVICES OF CONNECTICUT (SLS)
Statewide Legal Services of Connecticut (SLS) staff is a dedicated and experienced group of people working to provide assistance to eligible people seeking help with legal problems affecting their most fundamental rights. YULAA volunteers will be working with SLS to collect and analyze data relevant to the effectiveness of their eviction and foreclosure programs.
INTERESTED IN OUR WORK?
If you are an undergraduate student interested in getting involved, our application is now LIVE. For returning members, the application can be found HERE. For new prospective members, the application can be found HERE. Applications will close on September 15th at 11:59 pm ET. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. And stay tuned for new projects coming soon!