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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Homeless & Housing

Mission: To reduce poverty and advocate for safe housing by organizing, educating and empowering residents. We are committed to supporting each other and to preserving our quality of life, our health, and our personal safety by assisting tenants when their rights have been violated and by holding unresponsive landlords and building managers accountable.

Results: Rent Refunds to Tenants: $2.9 Million Legal Assistance: 694 Families Pro-Bono Legal Representation: 252 Families Rents Frozen at Individual Apartments: 462 Apartments Secured Succession Rights in City-Owned Buildings: 1,525 Families

Target demographics: Housing

Direct beneficiaries per year: 2000+

Geographic areas served: New York City

Programs: Tenant Organizing, Leadership Development, Mediation and Legal Services

Community Stories

104 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

For me, P.A.'L.A.N.T.E. was an unknown gem nestled in the heart of Harlem. From the moment I walked in as a volunteer I saw a small, tight knit team dedicated to serving the community, fighting for the men and women struggling to house their families in livable, safe places they can call home.As someone who has found a passion in fighting for social justice and civil rights I knew I was going to remain committed to this organization. During my time at P.A.'L.A.N.T.E. I have seen with my own eyes lives changed, deplorable living conditions fixed, depressed and scared tenants renewed and reinvigorated. I watch as people come in frightened and overwhelmed by their circumstances but after receiving guidance from the staff they leave armed with knowledge and feel empowered to tackle and resolve their situations. P.A.'L.A.N.T.E. changes tenants' lives for the better. Can't say the same for their slumlords though!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I want to take the time to thank Palante Harlem Elsia is an amazing lady I was living in Brooklyn in horrible conditions with my 5 children mice, rats, and roach infestion...I called everyone that came to mind and all I got was we will call you back...I came across a article by Monica Morales helped another young lady in a similar situation...and Palante helped I was hesitant to call due to be turned down by everyone...I CALLED and Elsia was so great she listened to me cry and break down and she said we are going to help you no one deserves to live in those condintions and she did exactly what she said I never met this wonderful Lady personally and she has done so much for my family we now live in an beautiful 4 bedroom apartment upper west side in beautiful neighborhood with beautiful people...me and my children are forever grateful for her...Palante Harlem is an amazing organization that truly care and I can't thank them enough....

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I voluntered at Planate for a short time but from that small experince I was able to catch the strength of this organization, Elsia Vasquez is a hard working and well informed leader who dedicates her time to working with and helping members of the local community. While being only a young non-profit organization that is challenging the law of New York city for the rights of those that have been neglected and left to fend for themselvs. Elsia has given these very people a tool to fight back againt the neglect and abuse of there landloards. The tenants that Palante represents are majority older citizens of the community and are seen as unable to defend themselvs against a larger entity yet Palante has given these citizens a voice to fight with and that is invaluable. Not only does Palante help older citizens of the community but as well as engaging the youth of the community by employing nearly all of her staff with young adults no older than 21 years of age. This shows that Palante is dedicated to giving back to not only the elders but also the youth covering all memebers of the community and giving invaluable information and oppertunity to all, this is one of the very few still true to the citizens of the community non-profit organizations.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Palante Harlem helped us get organized and form a strong tenants association to fight our predatory landlord.

Sergio A.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Some unscrupulous landlord took my name of the lease and then he was giving me the run around and took me to housing court claiming that I was not a tenant even though I have been living in the same place for more than 12 years.i did not know I have rights and I coul fight this people back until I got to Pa'lante Harlem offices,not just Elsia and her crew fight with you they also give you knowledge and really help you understand your situation.i am so happy I met them because otherwise I woul be homeless right now.i am in debt with Pa'lante for all they had done for me.

Previous Stories
2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Before Palante Harlem everything looked so dark.thank god I found them and with the help of miss elsia Vasquez and her team all of my problems became just a bad experience.they are as professional as it can get,without their counseling I would be homeless by now.gracias elsia por su esfuerzo y dedicacion hacia los menos protegidos.keep rocking the world.

MBell522

Client Served

Rating: 5

My name is Michaela and I am a single mother of two. My queen is 3 and my king is 1. I moved to the Bronx from Poughkeepsie, NY with my Children's father in February of 2016. It was a domestic violence situation so in June of 2016 I decided to pack up my kids and go into shelter. Two months of being in shelter, I found a job and I was receiving public assistance. I also obtained my housing vouchers and immediately started to search for an apartment without the help of CCS. I found an apartment and went to view it. I was told that all the renovations that needed to be done would be done and the apartment will be inspected. I trusted my worker and DHS to ensure that the apartment was inspected and approved. I was told by my worker that the inspection was completed and the apartment was approved. Then, because it was very cold and I have small babies, the housing specialist at the shelter I was in offered to get the keys to my apartment from the broker and bring them to me at the shelter. He did that, and I immediately left assuming I was on my way to my beautiful home on Christmas Eve. First, the key I was given wasn't even the key to my apartment. Then, when I walked through the unlocked door, I broke down in tears. My apartment looked like a construction site. Old appliances in the kitchen with my new ones, chipping paint, holes in my hollow floors, tools everywhere, nails everywhere, old chairs, no mirror in my bathroom, not even a shower rod! No window gaurds, cords and wires everywhere and the list goes on. I was scared to furnish the place. I called my dad hysterical and he connected me with Palante Harlem. I have never felt so empowered in my entire life. They have been guiding me every step of the way to help me fight this fight that people like me don't usually win. They even talked me into involving the media and speaking out on pix11. Because I honestly felt like nobody would listen. I mean, who am I? But Palante Harlem has changed my whole attitude about fighting for my rights. As a person and a tenant. My situation has continued to improve ever since I was introduced to Palante and every time I speak to them I thank them. I don't think I could ever thank them enough. Because of Palante I feel like I can fight any battle if I just use my resources and say something. To anyone out there that may be in a similar situation, and you are prepared to fight the necessary fight, call Palante Harlem and they will definitely point you in the right direction. I don't thank the mayor, I don't thank the city, I THANK PALANTE

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The work that Palante Harlem provides for the community should be recognized worldwide. A grassroots organization with such a small passionate staff that help so many with so little. This has been an opportunity for me to make a difference in peoples lives for the greater of good and stamp an everlasting smile on their faces. Fully driven by righteousness & empowerment that they don't give you the fish but rather teach you how to fish. This is the motto they live and die by when it comes to nurturing the people in need. -Christopher Padron

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My friend, Lisa, had a concern. She thought she was being ripped off by her landlord who was trying to redo her lease and raise her rent. Lisa was confused and wondered where and how she could learn the "rules" by which the apartment was governed and what were her rights as a tenant. The lawyer she reached out to would not answer any questions unless she paid him upfront. So I told her about Palante. They took her call right away and began telling her about websites she could visit and about government sites that outline regulations. She was able to do the research herself and felt empowered. Palante did not ask for anything in return. They truly are about empowering the community and teaching people their rights as tenets.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

One day i went to buy a graduation dress for my daughter , who was graduating from kindergarten. When I came home, the apartment had been locked by the Marshal's office. I had previously gone to court for a non -payment. I had the money for the rent , but the Judge told me to hold on to it; since the apartment was in my brother's name. I have lived with my brother for many years. The owners had sent a certified letter to my brother. No notice was given to me. Here, i was now locked out of my apartment. I called the Marshal's office and told to go to court.
I was to was referred by my neighbor to Harlem Pa'Lante. I came here, they got me an attorney , i didn't have to give him anything except my smile. I had the money for the rent , but not for the legal & marshal's fees. I was able to get a " one shot deal" from the city. Now, I am back in my apartment with my 3 children. My apartment is finally being repaired! You see that was why the owner sued me in court; when i started asking for repairs.
when the marshal changed the locks, the broke a very secure lock i had. they changed it with a used lock. Harlem Pa'Lante has even helped me with that. A new lock with two keys! I ham VERY GRATEFUL to Halrem Pa'lante!!!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been with Pa'lante Harlem for quite sometime, and I got to say hands down the best experience I've had. Pa'lante will open the eyes of those who don't see the wrongdoings in our community. Pa'lante will motivate the people in the community to become knowledgeable tenants and know the power of their tenancy rights. Not only would you be doing a good service to society but also to yourself, knowing that you are giving a voice to the voiceless makes you feel almost as you are the protector of NYC's tenants who are continuously harassed by awful landlords that are unfortunately trying to push people out of their residents or shoot up the rent. Overall, Pa'lante Harlem is a wonderful nonprofit organization that continues to provide outstanding service to anyone who is seeking help and continues to spread awareness of the corruption that is plaguing housing and the city's residents.