The Center for Constitutional Rights is seeking community input for a potential settlement in a case regarding the rights of homeless New Yorkers and shelter reform in New York City. This moment presents a unique opportunity to improve the NYC shelter system – particularly concerning the rights of LGBTQIA+ people and people with disabilities experiencing homelessness in New York City.
The case, Mariah Lopez v. New York City Department of Homeless Services, began in 2017 after the NYC Department of Homeless Services (DHS) denied shelter placement to a transgender woman with disabilities, and failed to protect LGBTQIA+ shelter residents from verbal and physical abuse by staff. While the lawsuit began pro se (without lawyers), it has already led to important wins.
Now, we and DHS are entering settlement negotiations that may broadly impact the public and shape how homeless shelters in New York City run with respect to LGBTQIA+ placements and disability accommodation.
If you would like to share your insights, ideas, and expertise with the Center for Constitutional Rights to help inform what reforms are implemented, please fill out the form below.