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Expanded Legal Assistance for People Experiencing Homelessness
by Steve Pleich
Tuesday Oct 8th, 2019 11:51 AM
Need for Legal Assistance Growing Among the Homeless
The Homeless Persons Legal Assistance Project has filed for public benefit status as a California Corporation and is planning to expand its services in Santa Cruz and Santa Cruz County. Although the project has been offering legal assistance to people experiencing homelessness for a number of years, the level of interest in the project’s services had not previously justified incorporation with the State of California. However, the uncertainty about applicable law in light of the federal court decision in Martin v. Boise and particularly the legal rights of people without access to emergency shelter has created a growing need not only for experienced legal assistance, but also with help in navigating the legal system in which unsheltered people are increasingly finding themselves.

The expanded project will operate on a model which has been used effectively by the Watsonville Law Center and will enlist local attorneys, law students, and law firm secretaries and paralegals to provide pro bono legal assistance to homeless individuals. This assistance often takes the form of a single consultation but occasionally extends further, depending on clients’ needs. Volunteers meet with their clients at local shelters and other social service organizations that are accessible to people experiencing homelessness. It is hoped that several local attorneys who have expressed interest in the rights of people experiencing homelessness will join the project as mentors and advisors.
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Past Record of Achievements?Robert NorseFriday Oct 11th, 2019 11:26 AM

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