Newcastle to host workshop on homelessness

Thirty frontline community workers across the Hunter will
gather in Newcastle on 15 November 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.

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, a person whose own experience of
homelessness shatters the stereotypes. Kevin is now a member of the NSW
Premier’s Advisory Council on Homelessness.

Law for Non-Lawyers will also provide information for local community workers about
Legal Aid’s homeless outreach service .

Legal Aid’s Homeless
Outreach Solicitor, Leanne Mellor, 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
Mellor said.

Legal Aid ‘s homeless
outreach service runs four specialist
legal clinics in the Hunter region, including a weekly Friday clinic at Wesley
Mission in Newcastle West and Samaritans at Broadmeadows.

The Law for Non-Lawyers workshop will be run again in early 2011 for
local community workers.


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

Leanne Mellor, Homeless
Outreach Solicitor, Legal Aid NSW. Ph: (02) 4908 6171 

Photo: Flickr/yewenyi

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