Housing Discrimination Initiative Intern
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About Fortune: The Fortune Society, Inc. (Fortune) has evolved into one of the nation’s preeminent reentry and justice-informed service organizations, providing formerly-incarcerated people with the skills and wrap-around services needed to break the cycle of crime and incarceration and to build productive lives in their communities. Our Mission: The Fortune Society’s mission is to support successful reentry from incarceration and promote alternatives to incarceration, thus strengthening the fabric of our communities.
Opportunity Title: Housing Discrimination Initiative Intern
Type: Intern, unpaid
Department: David Rothenberg Center for Public Policy (DRCPP) / Housing Advocate
Location: In-Person (Long Island City) / Hybrid / Remote
Tentative Schedule: 20-40 hours per week commitment (sometime Mon-Fri 9am-5pm)
Duration: Fall (Sept 1-Dec 15); Spring (Feb 1-May 15); Summer (June 1-Aug 15)
Application Deadline: Ongoing until opportunity is filled.
Position Summary: The role of the Housing Discrimination Initiative Intern will be assist the Housing Advocate on all aspects of advocacy and investigations. More broadly, the intern will support The Fortune Society’s efforts to a) expand access, through advocacy, to safe and stable housing, including supportive housing and assisted living facilities; b) combating systematic housing discrimination; c) other special projects.
*The positions may be remote or hybrid, but will be determined on a case by case basis and decisions in conjunction with public health guidance, and travel to Fortune’s LIC office may be required periodically.
Tasks / Primary Responsibilities
· Research and analysis to support the development of advocacy strategies, evaluate strategies used in jurisdictions across the country, and for special projects
· Create and submit FOIL (Freedom of Information Law) requests
· Creating excel spreadsheets to assist with, track, and help manage investigations and data
§ Learn about a broad range of subjects surrounding Fortune’s work and criminal justice reform.
§ Will develop familiarity with legislative advocacy processes and strategies.
§ Will conduct supervised research & analysis in policy work
§ Strong preference for Law students or those pursuing Masters degree in housing or related public policy areas.
§ Must have an interest and appreciation for the challenges faced by people who have criminal justice involvement, including collateral consequences that last well beyond time spent in prison or jail
§ Strong research and writing skills. Proven application of research in legal or public policy matters preferred.
§ Must be 18+ of age
§ Must have personal laptop/computer with reliable internet connection
§ Must show proof of completed COVID-19 vaccination (boosters not required to comply with EO47).
About Fortune’s Advocacy Initiatives: Fortune has a highly specialized skill set to serve this population, with over 54 years of experience serving formerly incarcerated individuals in New York City and over 20 years of experience managing supportive housing. The organization’s housing portfolio has significantly expanded, building on the organization’s successful experience in providing permanent affordable and supportive housing. Fortune’s housing portfolio for formerly incarcerated homeless individuals includes Fortune Academy (“the Castle”), our 93-bed emergency/transitional supportive housing facility; Castle Gardens, our 50-unit affordable/63-unit supportive housing facility, a 57-unit supportive housing facility in the Bronx for formerly-incarcerated older adults 62+ years (Mandaela Community); a 38-bed emergency and transitional housing facility in East Harlem to respond to vulnerable New Yorkers released from incarceration due to COVID-19; an 82-unit affordable and supportive building in pre-development in East Harlem, and hundreds of units of scattered-site housing across NYC. We believe people deserve a second chance. As a part of our public policy work at the David Rothenberg Center for Public Policy (the “DRCPP”), we advocate for other affordable housing providers to provide affordable housing for people who have criminal justice involvement, while lobbying for Fair Chance for Housing and related laws. Each year, our team is undertaking twelve to twenty investigations, education and outreach, and public advocacy for legislative change in collaboration with coalitions, other like-minded non-profits, fair housing organizations, and civil and human rights agencies. This work is at the forefront of criminal justice reform and the civil rights movement.