Agencies and organizations that provide advocacy, support, advice, and intervention
Finding legal help
The Court Services Centers are centers within courts that offer legal information and assistance in form-filling, the basics of accessing justice but not representation or advice. Information about seeking an order of protection (restraining order) against abuse or harassment. http://www.mass.gov/courts/selfhelp/abuse-harassment/ and http://www.mass.gov/courts/selfhelp/abuse-harassment/258e-more-info.html
http://MassLegalServices.org is the online poverty law library and collaboration resource for legal services advocates in Massachusetts. MassLegalServices offers resources and information about legal issues facing lower income Massachusetts residents to legal services advocates and social services professionals.
http://www.masslegalhelp.org/ Massachusetts legal aid programs put together this website to help you find practical information about your legal rights in Massachusetts.
http://www.masslegalservices.org/FindLegalAid Do you need help with a legal problem in Massachusetts? The Legal Resource Finder search results will give you contact information for legal aid programs, nonprofits, government agencies and court programs that may be able to help you with your legal issue for free or at a low cost. It will also give you links to legal information and self-help materials.
Veterans Legal Services
Provides free legal aid for homeless and low-income veterans in part of Massachusetts (Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth, or Suffolk counties) http://veteranslegalservices.org/for-clients/
Aids Action Committee 75 Amory Street, Boston, MA 02119 617.437.6200 http://www.aac.org
International Association of Official Human Rights Agencies. 444 North Capitol Street, N.W., Suite 237, Washington, D.C. 20001; Phone: 202.624.5410 http://www.iaohra.org/members A directory of city, county and state human rights, civil rights, and human relations commissions. Some have a more explicit focus on bullying, bias and hate crimes than others. Note: there may be municipal and regional agencies in your state that are not listed.
Also see state agencies like a Commission on Discrimination, Council on Human Rights, etc.
Legal Protection and Advocacy
The P&A system is a national network of disability rights agencies investigating abuse and neglect and providing legal representation and other advocacy services to people with disabilities.
Disability Law Center, Inc.
Mission: to provide legal advocacy on disability issues that promote the fundamental rights of all people with disabilities to participate fully and equally in the social and economic life of Massachusetts
DLC is the federally mandated Protection and Advocacy (P&A) agency for Massachusetts. While the agency does represent the cases of a small number of individuals, their focus is on advocacy, education, and providing legal resources to lawyers and other professionals. They concentrate on priority areas, including: Access to Community Services; Special Education; Health Care; Disability Benefits; and Rights and Conditions in institutions.
1 Beacon Street, Suite 925, Boston, Massachusetts, 02108; (617) 723-8455 / (800) 872-9992
32 Industrial Drive East, Northampton, Massachusetts, 01060; (413) 584-6337 / (800) 222-5619
National Disability Rights Network
A national nonprofit representing protection and advocacy agencies. NDRN is the nonprofit membership organization for the federally mandated Protection and Advocacy (P&A) Systems and Client Assistance Programs (CAP). There is a P&A/CAP agency in every state and U.S. territory as well as one serving the Native American population in the four corners region. Collectively, the P&A/CAP network is the largest provider of legally based advocacy services to people with disabilities in the United States.
National Disability Rights Network, 820 1st Street NE, Suite 740, Washington, DC 20002 P: 202-408-9514, F: 202-408-9520, TTY: 202-408-9521
Disability Rights New Jersey
National Council on Independent Living
NCIL advances independent living and the rights of people with disabilities. NCIL envisions a world in which people with disabilities are valued equally and participate fully. The term "center for independent living" means a consumer-controlled, community-based, cross-disability, nonresidential private nonprofit agency that is designed and operated within a local community by individuals with disabilities and provides an array of independent living services.
ILRU Directory of Statewide Independent Living Councils (SILCs) - 2016
ILRU Directory of Centers for Independent Living (CILs) and Associations - 2016
Massachusetts Association of Independent Living Centers
Independent Living Centers are nonresidential, private, nonprofit, consumer-controlled, community-based organizations providing services and advocacy by and for persons with all types of disabilities. Their goal is to assist individuals with disabilities to achieve their maximum potential within their families and communities. Also, Independent Living Centers serve as a strong advocacy voice on a wide range of national, state and local issues. They work to assure physical and programmatic access to housing, employment, transportation, communities, recreational facilities, and health and social services. There are 11 Independent Living Centers in the Massachusetts Associ ation of Independent Living Centers (MAILC).
Enforcement of rights under Federal regulations
Making a claim of discrimination under the Fair Housing Act
Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity: 800.827.5005
HUD Form 903 Online Complaint
HUD Fair Housing Hotline: 800.669.9777
Your housing discrimination complaint will be reviewed by a fair housing specialist to determine if it alleges acts that might violate the Fair Housing Act. The specialist will contact you for any additional information needed to complete this review. If your complaint involves a possible violation of the Fair Housing Act, the specialist will assist you in filing an official housing discrimination complaint... It is a violation of the law to deny you your housing rights for any of the following factors: - race - color - religion - sex - national origin - familial status (families with children under 18) - disability.
If the bullying is directly related to your disability (or you are in another protected class) you may have protections under the Fair Housing Act. Before filing a claim, read up on the recently published rule on this:FR–5248–F–02 Quid Pro Quo and Hostile Environment Harassment and Liability for Discriminatory Housing Practices Under the Fair Housing Act, Final Rule published in the Federal Register on September 14, 2016, CFR Citation: 24 CFR 100, p.63054-5
National Alliance of HUD Tenants (NAHT)
NAHT is a multi-cultural, tenant-controlled alliance of tenant organizations in privately owned, multifamily HUD-assisted housing. Hundreds of tenant associations representing thousands of tenants in every region of the country are already involved, working together to: preserve affordable housing, protect tenant rights, and promote tenant ownership and control. NAHT holds an annual convention in Washington DC with training and educational sessions, as well as holding meetings with legislators and administrators. http://http://www.saveourhomes.org
National Alliance of HUD Tenants, 42 Seaverns Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02130 (617) 267-9564
The Massachusetts Union of Public Housing Tenants (Mass Union)Mass Union is the only state-wide association of public housing tenants in the United States. Its 13-member board is elected from tenants who live in public or subsidized housing. Mass Union has been formally recognized and funded by the State's housing agency (the Department of Housing and Community Development), and also recognized by the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development as a partner in drafting of regulations and policies.
Jack Cooper, Director, Massachusetts Union of Public Housing Tenants, 784 Washington Street, Suite #504, Dorchester, Massachusetts 021224 http://www.massunion.org
Eliot Community Human Services
186 Bedford Street Lexington, MA 02420-4436; (781) 861-0890 www.eliotchs.org/
Eliot is funded [by] and serves individuals referred by Managed Medicaid Organizations, Commercial Insurers, the Massachusetts Departments of Children and Families, Developmental Disabilities, Public Health, Mental Health, Youth Services and the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission. [Their services include a tenancy preservation program offering support for tenants at risk.] Our continuum of services includes twenty-four hour psychiatric emergency services and crisis stabilization, individual, group and family outpatient counseling, addiction services, in-home therapy, therapeutic mentoring, and early intervention services for children, and community outreach and case management to individuals with mental illness. We oversee... residential, day, social and vocational programs for adults with mental illness, brain injury and developmental disabilities. Eliot also provides outreach, community support and case management to homeless individuals throughout the Commonwealth.
Stop Bullying Coalition
The Stop Bullying Coalition has worked with individuals and partnered with our local and state legislators and advocacy groups, including Michael Kane and the Mass Alliance of HUD Tenants, Mary Margaret Moore, Independent Living Center of the North Shore and Cape Ann, and many others. Together we have helped to create national landmark legislation, establishing the Massachusetts Commission to Study Ways to Prevent Bullying of Tenants in Public and Subsidized Multi-Family Housing, pursuant to Chapter 2 of the Resolves of 2016. Our goal is respect—to empower individuals, assure the rights and dignity of all, and assure the needed services to care for and protect the vulnerable. To empower people in a community to organize for action and be part of the solution. And to live in a healthy community!
For a series of informative articles, reviews of important books, history of advocacy and legislation, see http://StopBullyingCoalition.org