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  HAKIMíS STORY   Hakim lives alone in an apartment and struggles with mental illness. One month, Hakim was involuntarily hospitalized because the symptoms of his mental illness were particularly acute. Hakim was unable to pay his rent on time and the landlord, despite knowing Hakim was in the hospital, seized the opportunity to try to evict him, purportedly for non-payment of rent but more likely because of Hakimís eccentricities. MHAP represented Hakim in the eviction case and convinced the landlord to settle by accepting his rent and dismissing the case, rather than risk being found in violation of housing discrimination laws. Hakimís tenancy has been reinstated and he is living peacefully in his home.

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Mental Health Advocacy Project

Mental Health Advocacy Project (MHAP) was established in 1978 as a program of the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley. MHAP is the only legal assistance organization in Santa Clara County that provides specialized services for people identified as having mental health or developmental disabilities. MHAP works to expand the rights and to promote the social dignity of its clients by participating in the reform of the political, economic and social structures that affect their lives, and by increasing public awareness of the social problems they experience. We provide legal and advocacy services to over 4000 clients per year.

Our Direct Services

  1. Developmental Services Rights: Staff help individuals with autism, mental retardation and similar conditions with complaints about developmental services, including access to regional center services.
  2. Poverty Prevention: Staff provide assistance with public benefits such as SSI, Medi-Cal, Medicare, Cal WORKS, Healthy Families and General Assistance; family support modifications; equal access to public services; and other general legal issues.
  3. Housing Rights and Homelessness Prevention: Staff address issues of housing and homelessness by defending evictions and assisting with housing complaints, including discrimination, abuse and neglect, landlord/tenant conflicts and habitability.
  4. Patients' Rights works on both individual and systemic levels to ensure compliance with laws governing mental health patients' rights in psychiatric facilities and programs and represents patients in mental health due process hearings.
Our Other Services
  1. Outreach & Education: MHAP provides training to mental health, social service and housing providers, mental health clients, government agencies and other member of the general public regarding mental health patients' rights, housing rights, and various public benefit topics,
  2. Monitoring: In addition to individual assistance, MHAP provides regular monitoring of mental health facilities and services, and review of policies and procedures for compliance with mental health laws.
  3. Technical Assistance: MHAP provides advice and information to mental health, social service and housing providers so long as such advice does not constitute legal advice and is not in conflict with our obligations to the interests of our client community.


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