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Research Report: No home, no justice?  The legal needs of homeless people
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No home, no justice? The legal needs of homeless people  ( 2005 )  Cite this report



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Appendix 5


A2J CONSUMER INTERVIEW SCHEDULE

Introduction

Hi, thanks for agreeing to chat with me. I really appreciate your time.

I’m ___________. What is your name?

I work at a place called the Law and Justice Foundation. This is an independent organisation that is doing research about people’s access to legal information and legal services.

Go to participant information and consent form.

This must be signed by both the interviewer and participant before continuing.

1. To start off with, it would be great if you could tell me what life is like for you on a regular day. What you do on a regular day?

2. (if any of the following are mentioned) So where do you go to:

Find a bed for the night/ accommodation

Get something to eat

Work/Find work

Get medical help/methadone/needles

Feel safe /Get support for your family

3. So who (else) helps you out around here?

4. Are they helpful? What do you like about going there?

I would like to ask you a bit about your circumstances and issues you might be facing. These issues may be related to getting benefits, with employment, paying a debt, staying in housing, family, police or whether you have been a victim of crime.

5. So thinking about life recently, has there been a particular problem or issue you have had to deal with?

6. So when … happened, what did you do?

If nothing/nowhere – go to Q8

7. a. Did …help you?

b. if yes, how?

c. if not, what was the problem there?

8. If did nothing/nowhere – Why was that? (prompt for other reasons)

9. Has the problem been sorted/resolved? How?

10. Has there been any other major issue you have faced recently — perhaps where you think a lawyer may have been able to help you out? (If yes, Q5–9 again)

11. If there was a legal issue — did you end up getting any advice from a lawyer on this issue? If no, why was that?

12. If no legal problem mentioned — If you did have a legal problem, where do you think you might go for help?

If the issue has been addressed above, skip any repetitive questions below

I want to ask you about other aspects of your life at the moment, starting with … housing and accommodation issues.

HOUSING

13. What types of places have you lived in the last three months?

14. Have you had any problems staying in your accommodation in the last three months? (e.g. rent increases, eviction, disputes with the landlord)

If there was a problem —

15. a. What happened?

b. What did you do about it/where did you go?

c. If nothing, why was that?

d. If something, did they/that help?

e. Was it sorted out/is it still an issue for you?

16. If you did have a problem with housing, where would you go for help with that?

EMPLOYMENT AND INCOME

17. What has been your major source of income in the last three months?

Work (what type?)

Benefits/payments (What type? Go to Q22)

Other

18. If benefits – Have you had any problems with your government benefit in the last three months? (e.g. eligibility, calculation of benefit level, breaches, review of change of circumstances, allegation of fraud)

19. If ceased work in last three months – What happened there?

20. If no government benefit is mentioned – Have you applied for any benefits in the last three months?

21. If no other income – Why not?

22. If you did have a problem with your pension/at work, where could you go for help?

23. Have you had any major problems with people chasing you up for debts or unpaid fines?

If there was a problem —

24. a. What happened?

b. What did you do about it/where did you go?

c. If nothing, why was that?

d. If something, did they/that help?

e. Was it sorted out/is it still an issue for you?

f. If you did have a legal problem with a debt, where could you go for help with that?

FAMILY

25. Have you been married/de facto?

26. Do you have kids?

If never married/de facto and no kids – go to Q30

27. Have you had any legal problems related to your family—divorce, custody, problems with paying or receiving child support? (dispute over matrimonial property (e.g. division of money, superannuation or property on divorce/separation); problem about receipt or payment of child support; Child(ren) taken into care or placed on Child Protection Register; Problem about fostering, adoption or legal guardianship)

If there was a problem –

28. a. What happened?

b. What did you do about it?

c. If nothing, why was that?

d. If something, did they/that help?

e. Was it sorted/is it still an issue for you?

Before I move on, I just want to remind you that this is confidential and we will not be identifying any one in the report.

VICTIM OF CRIME/POLICE ISSUES

29a. Have you been the victim of a crime in the last three months (e.g. assault, robbery, stealing)?

If yes to assault –

29b. Was that by:

A family member

Some one else you know

Another person

30. Did you report that to the police? (if no, go to Q32)

31. What happened then?

32. Have you had any contact with the police in the last three months?

33. If yes – What type of contact have you had with the police?

Reported a crime

Been asked to ‘move on’ by police

Charged with a criminal offence

Been taken somewhere by the police

34. Have you had any contact with –

Council rangers?

Transit police?

Private security guards?

35. If yes – What happened?

If relevant – When they ask you to move on, what do you do?

36. Have you had any fines – say, for fare evasion or littering in the last three months?

37. Have you had particular problems with police or the law?

A problem about unfair treatment by the police (e.g. harassment, assault, false imprisonment, wrongful arrest, malicious prosecution, searches)

A problem with bail or remand

Police failing to respond or investigate a crime

Police not identifying/catching/arresting someone who committed a crime against you

If a problem –

38. a. What happened?

b. What did you do about it?

c. If nothing, why was that?

d. If something, did they/that help?

e. Was it sorted/is it still an issue for you?

f. If you did have a problem with the law or police, who would you go to for help?

YOUR HEALTH

39. Have you had any injuries or accidents in the last 12 months? (an injury caused by a car accident, a work-related injury, an injury caused by something else occurring outside the home)

If an injury –

40. a. What happened?

b. What did you do about it?

c. If nothing, why was that?

d. If something, did they/that help?

e. Was it sorted/ is it still an issue for you?

41. Are you Aboriginal or a Torres Strait Islander?

42. Record gender

43. Record age

25 or less

Over 25

Record any communication issues

That is all I wanted to ask you. Are there any other particular legal issues that we may have missed?

Thanks very much for talking with me about your experiences.



  


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Forell, S, McCarron, E & Schetzer, L 2005, No home, no justice? The legal needs of homeless people in NSW, Law and Justice Foundation of NSW, Sydney