Wagga Wagga hosts homelessness workshop

Representatives from community service agencies in the Riverina Murray area will gather in Wagga Wagga tomorrow to hear first-hand stories about homelessness and the impact of the legal system on disadvantaged people.

The community service workers are in Wagga Wagga to attend a one-day training workshop presented by the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) and Legal Aid NSW.

Called Law for Non-Lawyers, the workshop addresses common legal problems faced by homeless people. These include problems with fines and debt, tenancy problems and problems with Centrelink.

One of the workshop speakers is Kevin Simpson, whose first-hand experience of homelessness shatters the stereotypes. Kevin is now a member of the NSW Premier’s Advisory Council on Homelessness.

Law for Non-Lawyers also aims to increase awareness of outreach legal services provided by Legal Aid NSW for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

Legal Aid’s Homeless Outreach Solicitor, Anna Nightingale (pictured), 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 Nightingale said.

The homeless outreach service provides specialist clinics in five regional locations in the Riverina, offering free legal advice and legal assistance with minor matters and representation where required.

The Wagga Wagga workshop is fully booked but similar workshops will be held in Griffith and Albury in coming weeks.

MEDIA CONTACTS: Dominic O’Grady, PIAC Media and Communications Officer. Ph: (02) 8898 6500

Anna Nightingale, Homeless Outreach Solicitor, Legal Aid NSW. Ph: (02) 6921 6588

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