Note: the original hard copy of this report is 347 pages .

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No home, no justice? The legal needs of homeless people   

, 2005 This report into the legal needs of homeless people explores the capacity of homeless people in NSW to obtain legal assistance; to participate effectively in the legal system; and to obtain assistance in legal processes from non-legal advocacy and support agencies. It also examines the role of non-legal support workers and agencies in assisting homeless people to identify and address their legal issues. It is based on a review of existing literature and consultations with legal and non-legal service providers and homeless people themselves....


Ch 7. Assistance by non-legal agencies



The current and other studies indicate that homeless people are more likely to seek legal assistance from people or services that they are familiar with and already see in their day-to-day life.2 There are an array of agencies and organisations that specifically assist homeless people, providing food, shelter, medical attention and drug and alcohol treatment. Some of these organisations also provide advocacy, legal information, advice and referral services. There are also many general services accessed by people while homeless (e.g. health services, schools, community centres).

In the current study, nearly half of the homeless participants said that they would go to or had gone to a legal service (usually Legal Aid) if and when they had a legal problem.3 However, as will be argued in this chapter, many homeless people also turn, at least initially, to non-legal services or workers for advice if facing a legal issue.

This chapter looks at the role that non-legal services play in assisting homeless people with their legal problems or in linking them with legal support. It will examine:





 Interview no. 20.
 Lynch & Klease, section 5.3, P Crane & J Brannock, Homelessness Among Young People in Australia: Early Intervention and Prevention. A Report to the National Youth Affairs Research Scheme, National Clearinghouse for Youth Studies, Hobart, 1996, <http://www.acys.utas.edu.au/nyars/N13.htm> (accessed November 2004), p. viii.
 E.g. 11 participants had used or approached Legal Aid for assistance, and 2 had gone to other legal services.