Community Health Law Project receives support through partnerships

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ — The Community Health Law Project, which is headquartered in South Orange, has newly partnered with multiple organizations in an effort to expand its supportive services for those in need. Founded in 1976, the CHLP is a statewide nonprofit advocacy and legal service organization that provides legal representation and advocacy services to low-income individuals with disabilities and the frail elderly. 

CHLP has recently partnered with the New Jersey Department of Human Services’ Division of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. The purpose of this partnership is to increase access to legal services, with appropriate communication accessibility services, for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals with lower incomes. Funding for this partnership is provided by the Division of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. 

Recently, CHLP has become a partner in the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs’ Right to Counsel Pilot Project. This Department of Community Affairs–funded project provides legal and social services assistance to low-income tenants at three pilot sites in Atlantic City, Trenton and East Orange. CHLP will provide legal assistance to tenants with disabilities at all three sites.

Horizon and CHLP are collaborating in Horizon’s Neighbors in Health Program. Neighbors in Health aims to address the social determinants of health of high-risk Horizon members by pairing them with community health workers who provide support and linkages to services. In this collaboration, which is funded by Horizon, CHLP will be providing legal services to low-income participants of the Neighbors in Health Program in Essex County. 

CHLP is the legal partner at the Visiting Nurse Association of Central Jersey’s DULCE site in Freehold. DULCE, or Developmental Understanding and Legal Collaboration for Everyone, is a research-backed, innovative approach to pediatric care developed by the Center for the Study of Social Policy. The Freehold site is one of 13 DULCE sites nationwide.

The New Jersey Division of Mental Health and Addiction services has granted CHLP expansion funds to aid low-income New Jersey residents living with mental health conditions in housing-related matters statewide. These additional funds will allow CHLP to aid more consumers to avert housing crises and potential homelessness. 

As part of a comprehensive Housing Justice Program funded by the New Jersey legislature to Rutgers Law School and Seton Hall Law School in response to the global pandemic, the law schools have dedicated funds to CHLP to host two housing justice fellows. The fellows will be providing assistance to low-income individuals with disabilities in housing-related matters to help them avert eviction and promote housing stability. The two fellows will be placed in CHLP’s Collingswood and Elizabeth offices.

CHLP received a New Jersey State Bar Foundation co-sponsorship grant to fund a one-year fellowship in response to the pandemic eviction crisis. The fellow will provide housing and anti-eviction education and training to elderly tenants, tenants with disabilities and the organizations that serve them, as well as provide direct legal services. The fellow will be based out of CHLP’s Elizabeth office.