Safety Net Project – Urban Justice Center Seeks Benefits Advocate

The Urban Justice Center (UJC) is a nonprofit legal organization dedicated to advocacy on behalf of New York City’s most vulnerable residents. The Safety Net Project (SNP) is the founding project of UJC. SNP advocates for safe and secure housing and fundamental resources like food and cash assistance for underserved and marginalized communities in New York City. We combine legal services, policy advocacy, and community organizing to advance the movement for economic justice.


We seek an Advocate to represent individuals experiencing legal problems in accessing public benefits such as cash assistance, SNAP (Food Stamps), Medicaid, and eviction prevention grants. The Advocate will be joining our dynamic Benefits Team, which combines direct legal services, policy advocacy, community organizing, and creative media advocacy to demand dignity and economic justice for underserved New Yorkers. Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Interviewing individual clients to assess their public benefits problem;
  • Staffing legal clinics throughout NYC food pantries and soup kitchens;
  • Preparing legal arguments and representing clients at administrative hearings;
  • Engaging in zealous advocacy with city agencies to secure benefits for clients;
  • Helping clients understand the public benefits system and empowering them to advocate for themselves within it;
  • Providing detailed referrals inside and outside UJC for clients with other legal issues;
  • Identifying issues and trends for proposed policy reform and representing SNP at coalition meetings on these issues.

Successful candidates must have strong organizational and time-management skills, the ability to quickly learn the complex regulations and processes of New York City’s public benefits system, an aptitude for tenacious negotiation and advocacy, a desire to work with New Yorkers living in poverty, and the ability to respond sensitively to the urgent needs of clients. Candidates should also demonstrate a commitment to leadership development, policy advocacy, and community organizing as strategies for social change. A college degree is required and strong written, verbal, and organizational skills are essential.



Generous vacation, medical and dental benefits are provided. This is a bargaining unit position represented for collective bargaining purposes by the National Organization of Legal Services Workers, UAW, Local 2230.

Level of Language Proficiency: Conversational Spanish is required.

Professional Level: None specified

Minimum Education Required: No requirement

How To Apply

Please submit a cover letter and resume via email to with “Benefits Advocate Position” in the subject heading. JD Applicants will not be considered. We regret that due to high volume, we are unable to respond to inquiries and will contact only those candidates selected for consideration. Please do not contact us via telephone or fax. People of color, LGBT individuals, individuals who have personal experience with poverty, and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. The Urban Justice Center is an equal opportunity employer