By Adam Strawbridge, JDC Volunteer Coordinator
The Justice & Diversity Center’s Homeless Advocacy Project (HAP) is pleased to recognize the fantastic volunteers of the Multi-Service Center South (the Shelter) Clinic, a close partnership between HAP, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe and UC Hastings College of the Law.
Each week, one or more attorneys from Orrick, along with 5 to 15 Hastings students, staff a drop-in legal clinic at the Shelter. The Shelter houses 380 homeless individuals each night – some for extended periods of time, and others for just one night.
The HAP-Orrick-Hastings team served 265 clients in 2014
Orrick attorneys and Hastings students, working with HAP attorneys Laura Chiera and Elinor Roberts, conduct intake and referral in all areas of the law for both residents and drop-in clients of the Shelter. Then, for those clients who have outstanding warrants that are preventing them from obtaining housing, employment and/or government benefits, a team of one attorney and one or two students take on the matter full-scope, and work over the subsequent weeks and months to clear the warrants – the most frequent and biggest impediment to housing for the Shelter’s clients.
The HAP-Orrick-Hastings team served 265 clients in 2014, and has achieved many meaningful successes for its clients. For example, Alameda County recently issued a bench warrant for a client who missed a court date because he was in the hospital, and later, in a medical respite for homeless persons. A clinic advocate secured medical records and presented these to the court to establish the client’s whereabouts, and the court recalled the warrant.
HAP gladly collaborates with Orrick and UC Hastings to provide these much-needed services to homeless individuals.