Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein, Chair of the Assembly Ways and Means Committee, announced the inclusion of $150K in Legal Service Assistance for Haitian-Americans United for Progress (HAUP), a community-based organization with offices in Brooklyn and Queens, dedicated to empowering and serving New Yorks immigrant community. The money was included as part of the Civil Legal Services Funding portion of the FY19-20 State Budget. This grant was also strongly supported by, among others, Assemblymembers Clyde Vanel, Alicia Hyndman, Michaelle Solages, Kimberly Jean-Pierre, Ellen Jaffee, Mathylde Frontus, and Rodneyse Bichotte.
Over the years, HAUP has joined and led campaigns on behalf of Haitian refugees and immigrants, which include securing shelter, food, clothing, employment, and other types of support. But, with the Trump administrations policies against immigrants, HAUP has added over 2,000 new cases to their legal roster. Ninety percent of these clients are Caribbean immigrants seeking to adjust their status to that of legal permanent resident or petitioning for relatives.
Now more than ever, we need to make sure that our immigrant populations are able to obtain culturally sensitive representation, said Assemblywoman Weinstein. These funds will allow HAUP to deliver robust legal assistance, and help their clients many of whom speak English as a second language understand their options. HAUP is uniquely equipped to assist Haitians with Temporary Protection Status, given its language and cultural sensitivity, expert knowledge of country conditions and its reputation as an experienced and trusted community champion.
We at Haitian-Americans United for Progress are delighted that, thanks to Assembly member Helene Weinstein and her colleagues, we will be able to provide the legal services and support our constituents need to secure legal residency and lead productive lives in New York State, said Elsie Saint-Louis, Executive Director.
HAUP is committed to providing New York City and Long Island constituents with the tools necessary to develop strong roots, and a stable livelihood for themselves and their families. The majority of the people seeking its services barely live above the poverty line. This support will uplift the thousands who qualify for their services.