Many people who call Indy home need legal assistance – even those without a home to live in. Attorneys have the opportunity to help homeless individuals with their legal issues, and an upcoming IndyBar program on April 29 will provide the training to do so.
Attendees of this program will be prepared to provide pro bono assistance through the IndyBar Homeless Project for two of the most common case type needs experienced by Horizon House homeless clients: expungements and child support modifications. Stale minor criminal convictions and loss of driver’s licenses due to child support arrearages are two of the most common limitations on homeless persons’ ability to break the cycle of property through employment. By helping homeless individuals with these cases, attorney volunteers can have an immediate and lasting impact on their lives.
The seminar covers everything a volunteer will need to know, from common issues in communicating with the homeless people who don’t always convey pertinent information succinctly, to an analysis of the process for obtaining expungements in Indiana and more. In addition to getting prepared to help some of the city’s neighbors who need it the most, attorneys will also be able to report pro bono hours from the project under the Indiana Supreme Court’s new reporting requirements.
This program is free for those who attend and agree to take a case through the IndyBar Homeless Project upon completion of training. For more details and online registration, visit indybar.org/events.
One longtime volunteer describes his Homeless Shelter Project participation like this: “Offering limited representation can be equally rewarding for the client and the attorney. For example, one client not only was homeless and trying to raise his son after his wife died, but all of his possessions other than the clothes on his back were being wrongfully held by a storage company. It is hard to describe the joy in the client’s eyes when he received his property back from the storage facility at no cost.
It is more than just answering legal questions—it is providing hope and encouragement to individuals who many times have no reason to hope. Just volunteer and you will experience joy in helping people every time equal to the joy experienced handling your first case out of law school.”•