Giving is good: Project Homeless Connect 2011
Giving is good. It releases endorphin and makes us feel better. Project Homeless Connect (PHC) is a wonderful opportunity for giving. PHC is a joint project by Serenity House and Clallam County Health and Human Services. The Clallam County Pro Bono Lawyers will host a booth with private consultation areas.
You may be wondering, “Hhow can I help or represent homeless people?” These folks generally don’t need what you might think, and what they do need turns out to be a greater gift to you of more than just giving.
For sure, some people at PHC need legal triage, have specific questions and/or need direction to further services. But most simply need someone to listen to them, someone to hear their story, empathize with them, and respect their feelings. The gift to us is an opportunity to practice our ability to listen and create a deep human connection with our clients in order for them to not feel helpless and alone. Our ability to do this makes us better lawyers and happier people.
At last year’s PHC few of the people I saw needed any specific advice. Most wanted to know that the understanding they had of their experiences were reasonable and that their feelings were not crazy. They didn’t need a lawyer to represent them, write something up, or even give them advice.
Even if you don’t know anything about landlord-tenant, mortgage, family, disability, employment, criminal, entitlement law, or about mediation or courtroom procedures, you can make a valuable contribution listening and/or screening.
Last year over 300 people sought services at PHC. For those of you who may need to print out documents a printer will be provided and online forms will be available. Attached is an Advice and Consult Agreement that may be used. To contribute your time, simply contact Nancy at Pro Bono, at 417-0818 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For a summary of last year efforts, please see http://clallamcountybar.com/2010/01/29/project-homeless-connect-a-success/