DEACONS AND Wayside Chapel have joined forces to expand the range of services and support available to the homeless at the Kings Cross drop-in centre.
The tenth state branch of the Homeless Persons’ Legal Service (HPLS) was launched by New South Wales Attorney-General John Hatzistergos, at Wayside Chapel on 25 February. Organisers of the clinic hope the launch will focus attention on the issue of homelessness, particularly at the Federal Government level.
Since the first Homeless Persons’ Legal Clinic opened in May 2004, more than 1,800 people have received free legal advice.
“By providing legal assistance in a way that is easy to access, we aim to prevent legal issues from being the reason that people become homeless or stay homeless,” said Elisabeth Baraka, coordinator of the Homeless Persons’ Legal Service.
Deacons lawyers will volunteer at the clinic as part of a well-established pro bono program at the firm’s Sydney office. “Last year more than 50 Deacons partners and 200 staff played an active role in pro bono work in the community,” said Deacons’ Sydney chairman, Nick Abrahams.
The HPLC is a joint initiative of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) and Public Interest Law Clearing House (PILCH), and is funded by the NSW Public Purpose Fund.