Do you need help with a housing or public benefits matter?
You may be eligible for free legal services from Inner City Law Center.
Inner City Law Center primarily serves clients, including veterans and people with HIV or AIDS, with legal issues related to housing and homelessness, as well as public benefits, with a focus on providing services to people who are currently homeless or extremely precariously housed.
We do not provide assistance with family law, criminal law, bankruptcy law, or immigration law issues related to citizenship, asylum, and family petitions. If you need assistance with these issues, please visit our referral page.
To learn more about how you can request help, please click on the questions below that most closely relates to you.
If you received an eviction notice or unlawful detainer from your landlord, you may be eligible to receive free legal services from Inner City Law Center.
How do I get help?
Inner City Law Center is proud to serve tenants as part of Stay Housed LA County, a new initiative to connect tenants with resources about their rights and legal assistance. To determine if you are eligible for legal assistance from Inner City Law Center or another legal services organization in your area, please fill out a Get Legal Help Form.
If your eviction action was filed at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse in Downtown Los Angeles, you are eligible for assistance at the Shriver LA Housing Self-Help Center located at:
Stanley Mosk Courthouse
First Floor, Room 115
111 North Hill Street
Los Angeles, CA 90011
9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (Monday through Thursday)
9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (Friday)
*Closed from noon to 1:00 p.m.
*Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Shriver Self-Help Center is currently closed. For remote assistance, please call the Shriver Hotline at (818) 485-0576.
For more tenant and eviction-related resources, please visit our Tenants’ Rights page.
HIV/AIDS Legal Assistance
If you are HIV+ you may be eligible to receive free legal services from Inner City Law Center. We help qualified clients fight against housing discrimination, keep or move into safe and affordable housing, and appeal public benefits claims. The types of cases we may be able to help you with include:
- Evictions (unlawful detainers)
- Section 8 subsidized housing
- Restraining orders
- Landlord harassment and intimidation
- Public benefits, including Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security Disability Insurance(SSDI), General Relief (GR), CalWORKs, and Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants(CAPI)
While it is not a requirement for service, the majority of our clients who receive legal assistance through our HIV/AIDS program identify as LGBTQ+. Transgender clients who have been subjected to housing discrimination are encouraged to contact us for help and legal assistance.
How do I get help?
To determine if you are eligible for legal assistance from Inner City Law Center, call (213) 891-2880 and dial 0 to leave a voice message. One of our intake specialists will call you back to conduct an initial screening to see if Inner City Law Center can help you. We try to return all calls from potential clients within two working days.
We also accept HIV/AIDS Legal Assistance client referrals from social service organizations and the City of Los Angeles.
In order to receive services, eligible clients must provide a diagnosis from a medical provider, signed and dated within the last year.
Homeless Veterans Project
Veterans experiencing or at risk of homelessness may be eligible for legal assistance with accessing the VA benefits to which you are entitled as a result of your service. Our attorneys also represent veterans in discharge upgrades through the Department of Defense, ticket clearing, and driver’s license restoration.
How do I get help?
If you are a veteran needing legal assistance, please call (213) 891-2880 and dial 0 to leave a voice message. One of our intake specialists will call you back to conduct an initial screening to see if Inner City Law Center can help you. We try to return all calls from potential clients within two working days. Depending on your circumstances or legal issues, you may be referred to another organization.
Lawyers Preventing and Ending Homelessness Project (PEHP)
If you are experiencing homelessness or are about to become homeless you may be eligible to receive assistance with a range of legal issues such as:
- Eviction defense
- Preservation of Section 8
- Service animals and reasonable accommodations requests
- Domestic Violence
- Benefits advocacy
- Driver’s license reinstatement
- Credit and criminal record clearing
- Unpaid tickets or fines
HOW DO I GET HELP?
To request help, complete the following steps:
Step 1 – Look up your Service Planning Area (or SPA) to find out where to go for an intake meeting with a case manager.
- Visit http://gis.lacounty.gov/districtlocator/
- Enter your address. If you don’t have an address, enter the location of where you are currently experiencing homelessness.
- Find your “Service Planning Area” (for example: SPA 1)
- Your SPA will determine where to go for local services at a Coordinated Entry System (CES) agency near you.
Step 2 – Find your SPA Number in the list below to determine where to go for local services.
When you find your SPA number, contact the agency that is most appropriate to your situation and needs:
- If you are a family, contact the agency marked as (F).
- If you are by yourself and at least 25 years old, contact the agency marked as (A).
- If you are between the ages of 16 and 24, contact the agency marked as (Y).
You will need to contact the appropriate agency to make an appointment for a client intake.
Step 3 – Go to your intake appointment to determine if you are eligible for services.
For your intake appointment, bring any identification you have and any relevant documents related to your housing and income situation. These documents will help your case manager determine if you are eligible for services. If there are legal issues that our attorneys can help with, you will be given a referral to Inner City Law Center or a partner legal services provider, depending on where you live.
For questions about the Lawyers Preventing and Ending Homelessness Project, please email PEHPinfo@innercitylaw.org or call (213) 891-2880 and dial 0 to leave a voice message. One of our intake specialists will call you back to conduct an initial screening to see if Inner City Law Center can help you. We try to return all calls from potential clients within two working days.
If you are living with a disability and need help enrolling in public benefits programs or appealing a wrongful denial of benefits, you may be eligible for free legal services from Inner City Law Center.
Inner City Law Center provides technical assistance and training to partner agencies enrolling eligible individuals in the following public benefits:
- GR (General Relief)
- SSI (Supplemental Security Income)
- SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance)
- Social Security Retirement
- CAPI (Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants)
- State Disability Insurance (SDI)
- GR (General Relief)
How do I get help?
To determine if you are eligible for legal assistance with a public benefits issue, call (213) 891-2880 and dial 0 to leave a voice message. One of our intake specialists will call you back to conduct an initial screening to see if Inner City Law Center can help you. We try to return all calls from potential clients within two working days.
Depending on your public benefits issue, you will likely be referred to one of our partner agencies.
Slum Housing Litigation
If you are living in slum housing you may be eligible for legal services from Inner City Law Center.
We force slumlords to repair their buildings and compensate tenants who have suffered because of harmful and dangerous living conditions. Buildings that qualify as “slum housing” have substandard living conditions that include:
- Bed bug infestation
- Damp or leaking ceilings or walls
- Holes in walls, floors, or carpet
- Falling plaster or peeling paint
- No heat or hot water
- Infestation of roaches, rodents, or insects
- Missing or torn window screens
- Leaking plumbing
- Missing or broken windows
- Missing or broken smoke detectors
- Unclean common areas
- Inadequate trash collection
- Unsafe stairways or railings
- Inadequate security or locks
- Defective electrical wiring
Tenants living in slum housing conditions are often intimated or harassed by their landlord or management company. This includes being discriminated against on the basis of gender, age, disability, ethnicity, or family or immigration status.
How do I get help?
If you are suffering from any injuries as a result of the conditions of your building or due to the conduct of your landlord or management company, please call (213) 891-2880 and dial 0 to leave a voice message. One of our intake specialists will call you back to conduct an initial screening to see if Inner City Law Center can help you. We try to return all calls from potential clients within two working days. Depending on the conditions of your building, you may be referred to Inner City Law Center’s tenant organizing team for additional information and intake.
In addition to calls directly from tenants, we also often receive slum housing referrals from tenant organizing groups, City and County agencies, medical clinics, and other nonprofit organizations.
Inner City Law Center continues to serve our clients. While our Skid Row and Downtown LA offices are closed to the public until further notice, ICLC attorneys, paralegals, and staff members are working remotely.
If you are an existing client, please contact your ICLC attorney or paralegal directly or dial our main line at (213) 891-2880, select the extension of the attorney or paralegal that is helping you with your case, and leave a voice message. If you need to drop off or sign documents, or meet in person, please contact your ICLC attorney or paralegal before visiting the office.
If you are in need of legal assistance, please dial our main line at (213) 891-2880 and dial 0 to leave a voice message in our general voicemail box. We will make every effort to return your call within 24-48 hours.
Stimulus Payments (FAQs) – Important summary and frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding how to access COVID-19 economic impact payments (“stimulus payments”) issued by the Federal government, including guidance for non-filers. Read here. (Español)
10-Step Guide to Accessing the Federal Stimulus Check – Step-by-step for non-filers, or individuals who don’t usually file a tax return, on accessing their stimulus check through the IRS website. Read here. (Español)
These resources are not a substitute for consultation with a tax professional, lawyer or legal aid attorney. If you are in need of assistance or need to speak with an attorney, please call (213) 891-2880 and dial 0 to leave a voice message. We will make every effort to return your call within 24-48 hours.
The laws concerning eviction during the COVID-19 pandemic continue to change and vary from city to city. Tenants should not wait to seek help with eviction matters. It’s crucial to get help from a trusted legal aid attorney.
If you are in need of legal assistance or need to speak with an attorney, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (213) 891-2880 and dial 0 to leave a voice message. We will make every effort to return your call within 24-48 hours.
Click here to read ICLC Guidance on Public Benefits impacted by COVID-19, including updates on the following programs:
DPSS Benefits in Los Angeles County
- GR (General Relief),
- IHSS (In-Home Supportive Services),
- CAPI (Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants), and
- Refugee Cash Assistance.
Social Security Administration (SSA) Benefits Programs
- SSI (Supplemental Security Income)
- SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance), and
- SSA Retirement.
IMPORTANT COMMUNITY UPDATE: Please be aware of scammers pretending to represent the Social Security Administration over the phone and by mail. DO NOT provide your Social Security number or financial information to anyone who calls you. If you are contacted by or receive anything from SSA, please let us know immediately.
- Unemployment Insurance Benefits (UIB)
- State Disability Insurance (SSI), and
- IRS Economic Stimulus Payments.
In addition to continuing to serve our clients, ICLC is increasing our policy advocacy on behalf of the enormous number of people whose health, housing, and economic well-being are seriously at risk:
- ICLC’s policy team, along with the “No Place To Go” Central Los Angeles Providers Collaborative, issued a press advisory on March 13, 2020, underscoring the immediate need for more robust sanitation facilities in Skid Row and homeless encampments throughout the County.
- ICLC joined forces with Shower of Hope to promote specific policy changes to protect Angelenos on the streets or on the verge of experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis.
- ICLC has signed on in support of the public health recommendations of the Services Not Sweeps coalition to protect homeless communities during the COVID-19 crisis.
- In partnership with Western Center on Law and Poverty and Housing Now!, ICLC is calling for a clear and unambiguous moratorium on evictions in California. We need a statewide moratorium on eviction filings, except for those required for public safety. Similarly, there should be a statewide moratorium on foreclosures. During this crisis, unpaid rent and mortgage payments should be treated as consumer debt and be pursued as such rather than as a basis for eviction or foreclosure. No one deserves to be evicted from their home during this pandemic.
ICLC will continue to be available and responsive to our clients and will continue to advocate on your behalf as long as the courts and government agencies remain open. We will continue monitoring the situation involving COVID-19 and may make additional adjustments to our operations. Any updates will be posted here.