Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York
 


Poverty Law Center To Spur Economic Development

Contact: Finnegan, Lisa
212 636-7175
lfinnegan@fordham.edu


NEW YORK - While New York City as a whole has flourished during this most recent economic boom, some low-income communities have been unable to join in the prosperity. But Fordham University’s new Thomas M. Quinn Center for Poverty Law will attempt to bridge this economic gap by providing legal advice to community development groups in underserved neighborhoods. Funded by a $250,000 New York state grant, the center will provide legal services to disadvantaged communities attempting to develop jobs, affordable housing, day-care facilities and medical centers. It will also create a Web-based resource to provide New York City’s legal, social services and lay communities with information on the child welfare system. "Normally clinics deal with individuals and their problems — immigration issues, housing problems," said Professor Thomas M. Quinn, for whom the center is named. "We will help communities develop things like medical clinics and day care facilities." The center will enable students and professors to help advance the cause of New York City’s neediest communities through advocacy and legal redress. The program will take a four-pronged approach to tackling economic development issues in New York City. The Community Economic Development Center will be created to work directly with community organizations to develop the economic infrastructures needed to improve housing, health care, day care, community centers and jobs. It will provide aid for everything from incorporating community not-for-profit organizations to assisting in obtaining government and private financing for projects. The Quinn Child Welfare Site, a Web site, will provide New York City’s legal, social service and lay communities essential information on the child welfare system. The goal is for this site to act as "hotline," providing a central place for people to go for information on the latest developments in the social service field. It will also provide forms and detailed information that will enable individuals to gain access to the courts and administrative agencies. In the fall a statewide conference will be sponsored by the Quinn Center. It will focus on how community organizations, legal and social service providers, and universities can support the efforts of indigent and low-income families in providing improved care for their children. The group will also study ways in which the academic and social service communities can work to help women with children achieve economic stability. Fordham University School of Law was founded in 1905, and has over 13,000 alumni practicing in all 50 states and throughout the world. Under Dean John D. Feerick’s leadership since 1982, Fordham Law School has secured a place as a national leader in public interest law, legal ethics and human rights law. Founded in 1841, Fordham University is New York City’s Jesuit university. It has residential campuses in the north Bronx and Manhattan, and academic centers in Tarrytown and Armonk, N.Y.

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