Courts, Discrimination, Mediation
AUBURN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
c/o Westminster Presbyterian Church
17 William St., Auburn, NY 13021
Phone: (315) 252-2929
Frederick Richardson - Executive Director
Mission: To encourage and ensure that every individual has an equal opportunity to participate in the economic, cultural, and intellectual life of the community regardless of disability, creed, race, gender, age, or national origin.
Services: Legal services by appointment; Spanish translator by appointment; Information/complaint in-take; Education programs - Juneteenth Day, Black History Month, Women’s History Month, Auburn Human Rights Scholarship, and Landlord-Tenant Rights Forums.
Hours: By appointment only.
CAYUGA COUNTY ASSIGNED COUNSEL PROGRAM
2nd Floor, 152 Genesee St., Auburn, NY 13021
Lloyd E. Hoskins - Administrator
Mission: “In our adversary system of criminal justice, any person who is hauled into court, who is toopoor to hire a lawyer, cannot be assured a fair trial unless counsel is provided to him.” Gideon v. Wainright, 372 U.S. 335 (1963). Through the Cayuga County assigned counsel program, legal counsel is provided for those who have been arrested and charged with a crime or for those who are respondents in family court involving visitation, family offenses, and/or custody proceedings.
Services: Twenty-six attorneys have contracted with Cayuga County to provide legal services on a rotating basisfor felony, misdemeanor and/or family court. Eligibility for legal counsel is made on a case-by-case basis. Consideration in the appointment of legal counsel is based on income, assets and debts, the seriousness of the charge and the complexity of the case.
Eligibility: 125% of the current poverty guidelines by family size as determined by Department of Health and Human Services.
Hours:Monday - Friday, 8:30am-4:30pm.
CAYUGA COUNTY CLERK’S OFFICE
160 Genesee St., Auburn, NY 13021
Phone:(315) 253-1271; Fax:(315) 253-1653
Sue Dwyer - County Clerk
Mission: To provide excellent and effi cient customer service
Services: Passport Applications and Photos; Veterans Discharge papers; Deeds, Mortgages, and Survey Maps; Court Records; Judgments; Certifi cates of Business (DBA’s); and Divorce Records. The offi ce does not maintain birth, death or marriage records. Please contact the City or T own Clerk in which the event took place.
Hours: Regular: Monday – Friday, 9:00am-5:00pm. Counter closes at 4:45pm. Summer: (July 1 –August 31) Monday – Friday, 8:00am-4:00pm.
CAYUGA COUNTY PROBATION DEPARTMENT
Courthouse, 3rd Fl., 152 Genesee St., Auburn, NY 13021
Phone: (315) 253-1246; Fax:(315) 253-1417
Kelly Murphy - Probation Director
Services: Provide pre-sentence and pre-dispositional investigations and reports to aid all the courts in
Cayuga County in sentencing; supervise persons sentenced to or placed on probation while attempting to protect the public and rehabilitate the offender; and provide intake ser vices for family court.
Hours: Monday – Friday, 8:00am-5:00pm.
CAYUGA COUNTY SUPREME COURT LAW LIBRARY
2nd Floor, Courthouse, 152 Genesee St., Auburn, NY 13021
Phone:(315) 237-6122; Fax(315) 237-6451
Jill Fandrich - Law Library Clerk
Mission: The Law Library’s mission is to provide the judiciary, the bar, and the public access to and use of legal reference materials so that they may conduct their legal affairs and preser ve their rights in an efficient, accurate, and timely manner.
Services: The Law Library’s collection includes state and federal legal materials, statutes, case reporters, state regulations, forms, practice materials, encyclopedias, and treatises. Although primary users of the library are lawyers and judges, the library maintains a small collection of materials written for the non-lawyer and the library staff will assist patrons in locating and using the library’s resources and services. The library staff is not permitted to give legal advice, gives opinions on legal matters, or do research for patrons. Reference materials may not be borrowed, but copying services are available. Two public access computers, with free access to “Lexis,” are also available for legal research.
Hours: Monday – Friday, 9:00am-2:00pm. Open to the public.
CENTER FOR DISPUTE SETTLEMENT
48 West William Street, Waterloo, NY 13165.
Phone:(315) 539-4570; Fax:(315) 539-4571
Donna Durbin - Director of the Finger Lakes
Mission: To use and promote peaceful dispute resolution processes throughout our communities through mediation, arbitration, conciliation, facilitation, negotiation, and training.
Services: Mediation services can be provided locally upon appointment. Mediation offers persons in conflict the opportunity to work with a mediator to discuss issues, explore solutions, and develop their own agreement outlining what will be done to resolve the dispute. Mediation is an alternative to the court process and is private, confidential, and voluntary. Mediators are not counselors and do not give advice. Our mediators have completed a thirty-five hour state-mandated training program and apprenticeship priorto mediating cases. Small/large group facilitation and fact-finding services, anger management sessions and training are provided upon request. Programs have a minimal fee or are offered on a sliding scale,
Programs offered include:
Custody and Visitation Mediation
- In cooperation with Family Court, persons who have child/children in common can mediate the terms of their custody and visitation agreement. An agreement reached in mediation becomes the court order following review by a family Court Judge.
- Divorcing couples can mediate all the terms of their divorce including custody and visitation issues. Couples who are divorcing or are already divorced can resolve issues pertaining to division of property by participating in our Divorce Arbitration Program.
Community Mediation Program
- A program to address a wide range of issues ranging from claims of harassment/assault to landlord/tenant problems, interpersonal disputes with neighbors/other family members, small claims matters, consumer/merchant disputes, and neighborhood problems.
Volunteer Opportunities : Volunteer mediators are always needed. Volunteers are required to complete a 35-hour state mandated training and apprenticeship program.
Hours: Monday – Friday, 9:00am-5:00pm
CLEARPOINT CREDIT COUNSELING SOLUTIONS
5794 Widewaters Parkway, Syracuse, NY 13214
Phone: (315) 474-6026; Fax:(315) 479-8421; Toll-free:(800) 479-6026
MaryAnn Stark - President, Northeast Region
Karyn Dettbarn - Director, Northeast Region
Mission: Consumer health through fi nancial education.
Services: Clearpoint provides the following services to all who have fi nancial or budget concerns. Appointments are available in person, by phone, over the internet, or at free community sessions.
Free financial counseling that includes budgeting, financial analysis, action plan of suggestions and referrals, if appropriate, to other resources throughout the community.
HUD approved housing counseling services - pre-purchase, default, HECM, post purchase, foreclosure mitigation.
Licensed Debt Management Plans - to help overextended consumers to repay their debts affordably while meeting their priority household expenses. A sliding fee is charged. Hardship waivers are available.
We also handle a large number of clients via phone. This saves them time and gets them quick resolutions to their issues.
Education programs - Community Credit Education, business and academic workshops.
EOUST approved pre-fi ling and pre-discharge counseling and education for Bankruptcy. Fees do apply for this service, but hardship waivers are available.
Hours: Scheduled in-person appointments are available Monday through Friday, and some Saturdays.
Extended telephone service hours are available. Callers may schedule a future appointment, have immediate counseling (through our online chat) and/or get answers to their credit and money management questions.
FAIR HOUSING COUNCIL OF CNY, INC.
327 W. Fayette St., Syracuse, NY 13202
Phone: (315) 471-0420; Fax:(315) 471-0549
Merrilee Witherell - Executive Director
Mission: To educate the public about fair housing. “It is illegal to discriminate in the sale, rental, mortgage lending, insurance, or advertisement of housing on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, marital status, military status, and familial status”.
Services: Investigates claims of housing and lending discrimination and fraud; Counsels individuals about their rights under local, state and federal fair housing laws; Protects the rights of persons who have been illegally discriminated against through mediation or by fi ling cases in federal, state or local court and/or with HUD; Provides training for non-profi t organizations, real estate agents and other housing industry professionals; Designs and conducts self-monitoring programs for real estate, banking and insurance companies; Housing counseling and foreclosure prevention.
Volunteer Opportunities: Civil Rights Investigator, Outreach Assistant
LEGAL AID SOCIETY OF MID-NEW YORK
472 S. Salina St. Suite 400, Syracuse, NY 13202
Phone: (315) 703-6600; Fax:(315) 671-0062
Justice Alliance Helpline: (877) 777-6152
Dan Altwarg - Managing Attorney
Mission: Legal Aid Society of Mid-New York, Inc. (LASMNY) is a non-profi t law fi rm that provides free civil (non-criminal) legal advice and representation to residents of 13 CNY counties, including Cayuga. LASMNY’s clients are families and individuals who would otherwise be denied legal protections because they are poor or elderly.
Services: Legal representation and advice in civil (non-criminal) cases involving domestic violence, public assistance, Medicaid, Food Stamps, and SSI/SSD issues. LASMNY is only handling family court and divorce matters where domestic violence is present.
Hours: For domestic violence, please call our Oswego office Monday-Friday, 9:00am to 5:00pm at 532-6900. For Social Security (SSI only) please call our Syracuse office Monday-Friday, 9:00am to 5:00pm at 703-6600. For any other civil matter not listed above, please call our legal helpline Monday-Friday, 9:00am to 5:00pm toll free at 1-877-777-6152.
LEGAL SERVICES OF CNY
472 Salina St. Syracuse, NY 13027
Phone: (315) 703-6500; Fax:(315) 475-2706
Toll-free: 1-866-475-9967 TTY: 1-866-475-3120
Dennis Kaufman - Director
Mission: We are a non-profit law firm founded in 1966 to provide free, civil legal assistance to families and individuals in thirteen counties of Central New York including Cayuga County. We provide our clients legal assistance with 19 lawyers and 5 paralegals. We are governed by Boards of Directors made up of attorneys, clients and community representatives.
Services: We represent low-income families and individuals and people with disabilities or problems related to their disability. Free Legal Clinic is held at Cayuga Community College, 197 Franklin Street, Auburn on Fridays from 12 Noon-2:00pm. This clinic is for residents of Cayuga County and surrounding areas. Contact Ken Ehres-man at: Phone: (315) 703-6588 ~ E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Syracuse Office Hours: 9:00am-5:00pm.
Hours: Monday – Friday 9:00am-5:00pm.
MOTOR VEHICLE BUREAU (CAYUGA COUNTY)
Cayuga County Office Bldg., 1st Fl, 160 Genesee St., Auburn, NY 13021
Phone: (315) 253-1241; Fax:(315) 253–1006
Shereen Androsko - DMV Supervisor
Mission: To provide excellent and efficient customer service
Services: All motor vehicle and driver license transactions including Vehicle registration and renewal; En-hanced Drivers License and Regular Drivers License issuance; Non-driver’s photo I.D. cards; Commercial Driver license; Learner’s permits; Renewals may be mailed directly to our local offi ce or use the conve-nience of a drop box located in lobby of County Offi ce Bldg.; Downloadable forms are also on the website.
Hours: Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday/Friday, 9:00am-4:30pm; Thursday, 9:00am-6:00pm; Summer - (July-August), Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday/Friday, 8:00am-3:30pm; Thursday, 8:00am-5:00pm.
Cornell University, 415 Warren Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853
Phone: (800) 547-3276 ; Fax:(607) 254-7435
Primary Contact: Ed Staehr - Communications Director
Mission:To provide farm families with a network of contacts and support services to help them developskills for dealing with life challenges and transitions through personalized education, confidential consulting and referrals.
Services: NY FarmNet offers free and confidential information, referral and consulting for New York farm families on financial and personal matters.
Hours: Monday - Thursday, 9:00am-4:00pm; Friday, 9:00am-3:00pm.
NYS ATTORNEY GENERAL
615 Erie Blvd. West, Ste. 102, Syracuse, NY 13210
Phone: (315) 448-4800; Fax:(315) 448-4853
Helpline: (800) 771-7755 ; Consumer Frauds:(315) 448-4848
Eric T. Schneiderman - NYS Attorney General
Ed Thompson - Assistant Attorney General, Syracuse Office
Mission: The Syracuse Regional Offi ce serves the counties of Onondaga, Cayuga, Oswego, Cortland, Madison. Bureaus represented in offi ce include Consumer Frauds and Public Advocacy, Charities and Not-for-Profi ts, Criminal Prosecutions, Organized Crime Task Force, Public Integrity, State Counsel and Litigation, Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, and the Sex Offender Management Unit.
Hours: Monday – Friday, 8:30am-6:00pm
NYSEG CUSTOMER ADVOCATE PROGRAM
1387 Dryden Road, Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: (800) 572-1111
Sherry Nedrow - Contact, (800) 521-5572,x2172
Nicole Williams - Contact, (607)-762-4592
Services: The Customer Advocates at NYSEG provide consumer advocacy and crisis intervention to customers having fi nancial and medical difficulties.
Life Support Customers
- If you or a member of your household relies on life-sustaining equipment,don’t wait! Contact us and we’ll notify you before any planned interruption of your electricity service for maintenance. We’ll also keep you updated on power restoration efforts if the duration of an outage extends beyond 24 hours.
Home Energy Assistance Program
The Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) is a federal grant program that helps eligible households pay for energy costs, repairs and weatherization. Income eligible customers may receive one regular HEAP benefit per season. Funding is limited. Contact your county’s department of social services to apply.
Energy Assistance Program
NYSEG’s Energy Assistance Program (EAP) is designed to help eligible customers gain control of their energy bills. The program has two levels of assistance, bill credits and arrears forgiveness. EAP bill credits are available automatically to any customer who receives a HEAP benefi t.No application is needed. A limited number of EAP participants will be able to apply for our EAP arrears forgiveness program. EAP bill credits will continue each year as long as a HEAP benefi t is applied to your NYSEG account.
Funded by employees, retirees, and customers, Project SHARE helps eligible customers pay for energy emergencies such as fuel bills, repairs to heating equipment, home weatherization and wa-ter heater replacements. To receive Project SHARE fi nancial assistance, a member of the household must be 60 years of age or older or disabled at any age, and must have exhausted all other assistance programs such as HEAP, food stamps, Medicaid and local or county emergency aid.
Friendly Reminder Third Party Notification
- Our Friendly Reminder Third Party Notifi cation service offers you extra peace of mind. A friend, agency or organization you designate will receive a copy of any important notices we may send to you. Interested? Print, complete and send us this Third Party Notification Service form.
Hearing and Speech Impairment Assistance
- If you use a telephone (TTY) device in your home, just dial 711 and ask the New York Relay Service operator to contact NYSEG at (800) 572-1111.
- For customers who prefer to speak a language other than English, we offer interpreter services when you call.
Eligibility: NYSEG customer
Hours: Monday – Friday, 7:00am-7:00pm.
NATIONAL ALLIANCE ON MENTAL ILLNESS (NAMI)
Auburn Community Hospital, 17 Lansing Street Auburn, NY 13021
Phone: 315-255-7443; Fax:315-255-7382
Terri Wasilenko - Contact
Mission: NAMI of Cayuga County provides support, education and advocacy for families and friends of individuals with serious, chronic mental illness, while striving to improve the quality of life and eradicating stigma for those with serious mental illness.
Services: A Family Support Group meeting every 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month at 6:00 pm in the second fl oor Assembly room at Auburn Memorial Hospital.
A six-week Family Education Program offered 4 times a year teaching the knowledge and skills that family members need to cope more effectively. NAMI’s In Our Own Voice: Living with Mental Illness Program is a recovery/education program given by trained consumer presenters for other consumers, family, professionals and lay audiences.
Nothing to Hide: Mental Illness in the Family traveling photo-text exhibit features photographs and interviews with families whose lives are affected by mental illness. By bringing visibility to mentally ill individuals and their families, Nothing to Hide helps dispel harmful stereotypes, myths and misconceptions about mental illness.
Through advocacy and collaboration with other organizations in the community, NAMI seeks to improve access to mental health services and support family members.
Volunteer Opportunities: Workshop presenters, Board members, and offi ce staff
Hours: Monday, Wednesday & Friday 9:00am-1:00pm
OPTIONS FOR INDEPENDENCE
75 Genesee St., Auburn, NY 13021
Phone: (315) 255-3447; Fax:(315) 255-0836
TTY: (315) 282-0762
Gregory D. Guy - Executive Director
Sara Douglass - Education & Youth Advocate, Housing Education Coordinator
Dottie Dunn - Ombudsman Coordinator
John Scollan - ADA/Access Advocate
Ali Wade - Medicaid Service Coordinator
Felicia Thompson - Representative Payee/Benefi ts Advisor
Albert Townsend - Housing Advocate/Administrative Assistant
Mission: Options for Independence is an Independent Living Center authorized under the NYS Department of Education & ACCES-VR which assists people with disabilities to gain opportunities, make their own decisions, pursue activities and become part of community life.
Services: Architectural Accessibility Consultation
- On-site accessibility consultation related to living situations, community facilities and worksites. Technical assistance is provided to individuals and businesses to aid and encourage them to make buildings and facilities accessible.
Peer and Rights Advocacy
- Staff is available for one-to-one and group discussions to assist consumers in securing and enforcing their rights as they pertain to benefi ts, accessibility, education (including attending Committee on Special Education (CSE) meetings), employment, health, housing, and systems barriers.
Speakers and programs on disability related topics to churches, schools, parent groups, service providers and other organizations. Kids-On-The-Block educational presentations are conducted throughout the year.
Information and Referral
- Information is provided regarding accessibility, equipment and technology, state and Federal benefits, referral services and support groups.
- Wheelchairs, portable ramps, walkers, crutches, canes, bath items and a wide variety of other equipment for short-term loans. All are available on a first-come, fi rst-served basis. There is no charge for borrowing equipment for up to 3 months.
Medicaid Service Coordination
- Service Coordinator on staff to provide Medicaid Service Coordination(MSC) services, offered through the OPWDD, to those who qualify for the program.
Home Modification Programs
- Options administers three home modification programs, most of which follow HUD guidelines for eligibility. Cayuga County Temporary Ramp Program, and City of Auburn Home Access Program.
Representative Payee /Benefits Advisor Program
- Assistance to help consumers who receive Social Security benefits budget their money by using a voucher system and to pay their bills.
Self-Sufficiency Program (SSP) provides qualified participants with permanent housing opportunities through a HUD Supportive Housing Program that includes rental assistance as well as case management services that will assist them in obtaining stability and a chance at self-sufficiency. For those at risk of homelessness but not meeting the strict HUD guidelines, case management and service linkages may be provided to help the individual from becoming homeless.
Housing Education Services
Provides training and information for tenants and landlords specifically geared toward providing greater understanding of disability-related housing issues, and providing expanded opportunities for housing for individuals with disabilities and their families.
Coordinates the New York State Ombudsman Program for Cayuga County which receives, investigates and resolves complaints and concerns of residents in long term care facilities utilizing the services of trained and certified volunteer Ombudsman.
Personal Care Bank
Provides Options’ consumers with toiletries, cleaning products and other personal care items at no cost to the consumer.
Annual Conference; newsletter; Disability Awareness Day; Consumer Appreciation Day; resource material/periodicals; and durable medical equipment that may be borrowed by consumers.
Hours: Monday – Friday, 9:00am-5:00pm; appointments preferred.