Law Foundation of Silicon Valley Mental Health Advocacy Project – Housing Rights Advocate
San Jose, CA
Year Founded: 1978
JVC partner for: 22 years
Population Served: Very low-income individuals who are living with mental health and developmental disabilities, many of whom are homeless
Organization Description: The Mental Health Advocacy Project (MHAP)’s mission is to empower people with mental health and developmental disabilities to live more independent, secure, and satisfying lives through the enforcement of their legal rights. MHAP provides legal advocacy and services to over 4,000 clients each year. MHAP was founded a group of Santa Clara County Bar Association leaders who recognized that the community needed to empower traditionally underrepresented individuals by providing free access to the legal system. MHAP and JVC have a 20-year relationship that reflects the shared values of the organizations, and a number of FJVs have worked at the Law Foundation. JVs serve in multiple positions at MHAP.
JV’s Role: The JV has the unique opportunity to manage cases and work directly with clients who have landlord/tenant problems, eviction notices, or need disability accommodations. S/he represents clients in hearings and provides clients with housing resources. The JV also works in the intake unit, determining new potential clients’ eligibility and assessing their needs. The JV may also organize community outreach events.
How JVs Make an Impact: “The JVs at MHAP have always been an integral part of our program and are central to our ability to deliver high quality legal services. We serve hundreds more clients each year with the assistance of JVs. In addition, MHAP can participate in more outreaches and community events.”