Socially marginalized people tend to have a range of legal issues that, when unaddressed, can cause or prolong homelessness. Since the number of homeless people is increasing, we decided to launch a pilot project of a legal clinic directly in the premises of two NGOs, Civic association Vagus and Civic Association Proti prúdu in the capital city of Bratislava.
The types of legal issues homeless people face vary: as people become homeless, common legal issues are family law and domestic violence, together with debt and housing related legal issues. The clinic will also focus on helping pro bono with discrimination cases in housing and employment. The Launch of the clinic will bring together attorneys who want to provide pro bono counselling in specific legal areas, as well as social workers who will cooperate with them taking care of the clients, and administration regarding the pro bono help. The project is financially supported by Philip Morris.
There is an agreed number of engaged attorneys who will on a regular monthly basis provide pro bono counselling to homeless people directly in the premises of the daily integration centre DOMEC and work-integration centre Proti prúdu. The launch will provide space to discuss the model of the clinic in detail, so that it brings most effect for the socially excluded and will be able to function sustainably even if the attorneys will be changing. The model will include recruitment of attorneys, regularity, documentation of the cases, monitoring, training of the attorneys, evaluation and communication including seeking out strategic cases that will agree to go public).