Workshop addresses homelessness
FRONTLINE community workers from the local area will gather in Lismore next Friday, August 5 to hear first-hand stories about homelessness and the impact of the legal system on disadvantaged people.
The community service workers will join a one-day training workshop presented by the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) and Legal Aid NSW. The workshop is being held to mark National Homeless Persons Week 2011.
Called Law for Non-Lawyers, the workshop addresses common legal problems faced by homeless people. These include problems with fines and debt, tenancy problems, guardianship, discrimination and problems with Centrelink.
One of the workshop speakers is Kevin, a person whose own experience of homelessness shatters the stereotypes. Kevin now contributes to government advisory bodies as a voice for homeless people.
Law for Non-Lawyers will also provide information for local community workers about Legal Aid's new homeless outreach service, which is a recent addition to Legal Aid's other free Civil Law advice services in the area.
Legal Aid Solicitor, Lurline Dillon-Smith, said the aim of Legal Aid’s homeless outreach service is to assist clients to deal with their legal issues.
‘This can break the cycle of homelessness or prevent circumstances leading to homelessness,’ Ms Dillon-Smith said.
Legal Aid's homeless outreach service currently runs three specialist legal clinics in the Northern Rivers region, including a clinic every Wednesday at Lismore Soup Kitchen at The Winsome.