Where to go for a Street Lawyer?
NEOCH has struggled over the last three years having had to layoff nearly all of our employees and relying more on volunteers and national service members, but one thing that we are proudest is that the community of homeless people have not suffered because of our financial issues. We were able to transfer all of our programs to other social service providers and maintain those services in the community. Our housing program and voice mail system are under the direction of other agencies and are still providing services in the community. We are working on finding funding for the Homeless Grapevine newspaper.
One program staff that we were forced to eliminate in 2009 was the director of Cleveland Homeless Legal Assistance, but with the help of the Metropolitan Bar Association and volunteers from a bunch of local law firms and the Cuyahoga County Law Library we have kept the program in operation. We still have volunteer attorneys going to the shelters and drop in centers and offering legal help. We will also have an intern this summer working on strengthening the program.
The schedule for the Legal Program is on our website now here. If you are homeless and need to discuss non-criminal matters with an attorney, you can go to the Wednesday clinic at the May Dugan Center. If you are staying in the 8 shelters that have a monthly clinic, you can talk to the attorney about a security deposit that you may not have gotten back or a check from an employer that was held. In addition, the Bar still maintains a monthly divorce clinic to teach people how to file for divorce on their own. The lawyer can answer questions about visitation of a child in custody of the County or a child support order. They can help with an expungements or landlord tenant issues for those who are currently homeless or in imminent danger of becoming homeless. This is a wonderful service that serves over 300 people per year.
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