Center for Urban Community Services (CUCS) connects NY’ers to services

The Center for Urban Community Services (CUCS) has launched a new initiative to connect New Yorkers with income support, health insurance, financial coaching, and civil legal services. Learn more at

Community Advocate Center

For community advocates
Communities thrive when we work together
October 25, 2021,, by Ami Dziekan, Division of Consumer Response and Operations
Every day dedicated community advocates work to improve the lives and protect the rights of people across the country. The FTC is proud of our work with the legal services community and we are excited to share the Community Advocate Center, a new resource to help you report to the FTC your clients’ experiences with fraud, scams, and bad business practices…When advocates tell us people’s stories through, the FTC can give tailored advice on next steps, including specific info about how to try to recover their money. [The FTC wil use] reports from your community to stop bad practices, get money back for your clients, and educate people about how to avoid the latest scams. Please sign up today:
[You have to register as a Report Fraud Community Advocate to use this advocate center to report fraud for your clients.]

Mediating Establishment and Neighbor Disputes (MEND)

The Mayor announced MEND NYC, a program to provide mediation to New Yorkers and hospitality businesses across the city who are in disputes over quality-of-life issues. This is a free, innovative alternative that can bring lasting solutions to longstanding local issues, which are tracked by complaints to 311.  

MEND (Mediating Establishment and Neighbor Disputes) NYC will serve hundreds of New York residents and businesses each year, creating opportunities to resolve disputes before they escalate to the need for formal enforcement, such as issuing summonses, which can add financial hardship to small businesses operating under new rules and guidelines. Mediation is a constructive conversation between people in conflict that is facilitated by an experienced, neutral third person. Mediation provides participants an opportunity to collaboratively design creative solutions and repair tense relationships. MEND will get businesses and New Yorkers to communicate directly and establish respectful ongoing dialogue, helping them to compromise and coexist. 

The Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH) will administer the MEND NYC program in partnership with the Office of Nightlife at the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment. OATH is the City’s central independent administrative law court where summonses issued by the City’s various enforcement agencies are filed.  Also housed in OATH is the City’s central mediation center, the Center for Creative Conflict Resolution, which has traditionally been responsible for mediating City government workplace conflict.  MEND NYC will represent the first time OATH’s Center for Creative Conflict Resolution makes its services and expertise widely available to the general public, with mediations taking place outside of the OATH court system hearing process.  OATH has professional mediators and conflict resolution trainers at its Center but OATH has also worked diligently to partner with conflict resolution groups and law schools across the City to build up a roster of trained mediators who can assist the MEND NYC program.  These mediators will be working pro bono and will help ensure that the MEND NYC program is available to all who want to participate in this free option. 

The Office of Nightlife, a non-enforcement liaison between the City and the nightlife industry and community, will be actively referring cases where there may be chronic or urgent quality of life complaints related to a restaurant, bar, or other nightlife venue. The Office of Nightlife will also provide education and support to businesses to assist with compliance and with maintaining good relationships with their neighbors.

NY Peace Institute – Manhattan Mediation Center


Mediation is a conversation between two or more people that disagree, led by a trained, neutral mediator.  Mediation is a less expensive, time-saving alternative to court.

In mediation the disputing parties have the chance to settle their differences in a safe, confidential and efficient manner.

Mediation helps people get what they need, whether it’s peace and quiet, family unity, a financial settlement, or just a chance to be heard.

Our mediators include staff members and community volunteers who are professionally trained and committed to promoting peace in our communities.


Mediation is FREE.  


Almost any dispute may be appropriate for mediation.  Here are some of the typical cases handled by their mediation centers.

  • Neighbor disputes such as noise
  • Parent-Pledge — Parenting Plans, Custody, Visitation and/or Child Support
  • Civil matters – debt, personal and business
  • Criminal matters – assault, property damage and menacing
  • Breach of contracts
  • Property disputes
  • Landlord/Tenant disputes
  • Co-workers
  • School conflicts – student to student conflicts
  • Parenting issues such as discipline, truancy
  • Harassment
  • Special Education Mediation
  • Other Services


No.  Mediation is not a court proceeding.  Mediation is voluntary.  Both parties must agree to the process to have a mediation.  Mediators are not judges.  They are not there to make decisions.  They are there to facilitate a discussion that helps parties see eye to eye when they are going head to head and find their own solutions to the conflict.  Mediation is a cost effective time-saving alternative to court.

Manhattan Mediation Center

Telephone:  212-577-1740

Fax:  212-577-1748

Or send an email at


Call to speak with a staff person, or use the online request form:

You can contact Martha Vargas with any questions about the request process at or 718-834-6671.

NYC Business Solutions Center

NYC Business Solutions Center provides free legal and financing advice, guidance on getting NYC licenses and permits, and free business workshops.

Recognizing Human Trafficking

While not an exhaustive list, these are some key red flags that could alert you to a potential trafficking situation that should be reported:

– Living with employer – Poor living conditions – Multiple people in cramped space – Inability to speak to individual alone – Answers appear to be scripted and rehearsed – Employer is holding identity documents – Signs of physical abuse – Submissive or fearful – Unpaid or paid very little – Under 18 and in prostitution

Abductors, pimps, organized crime rings and terrorists will continue to highly profit off of human beings through slavery. By taking action and sharing information, we become part of the solution.

SCORE Resources for NYC Small Businesses

SCORE offers free workshops for small business.

SCORE NYC Counselors’ Areas of Expertise cover a very wide range of businesses and professions. In addition to including a number of attorneys, accountants and professional educators, our ranks include individuals with extensive experience and expertise in manufacturing and distribution; banking and finance; retailing and wholesaling; marketing, advertising and publicity; personnel training and management, and E-commerce and internet marketing; as well as in such specific industries as apparel, technology, restaurants and food services, footwear and others.