Many people who call Indy home need legal assistance–especially those without a home to live in. IndyBar attorneys have the unique opportunity to help homeless individuals with their legal issues through the IndyBar Homeless Project.
Through the project, IndyBar attorney volunteers visit one of five local homeless shelters each month, giving legal advice and occasionally offering limited representation. Volunteers typically provide direction and common-sense practical solutions to the residents and help with a wide variety of topics, including family law, SSI, landlord/tenant and workers’ compensation. 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 poverty through employment. By helping homeless individuals with these obstacles, attorney volunteers can have an immediate and lasting impact on their lives.
Volunteers serve in the evening in four time slots per year and visit the shelters in pairs. Training is not provided, but volunteers are given the most recent edition of the “Commonly Asked Questions About Indiana Law” resource guide and will be paired with a veteran volunteer. 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.•