Category Archives: Poverty

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Tracking legal need in very small areas with the Legal Health Check-Up

The legal health check-up (LHC) is a uniquely valuable tool for documenting unmet legal need at a very fine-grained local level. The LHC questionnaire is administered by community groups and service agencies to people seeking their services. Individuals who request service from the legal clinic are referred to the clinic. The LHC form becomes the basis for a dialogue between the clinic staff and the individual, laying the groundwork for a more holistic and integrated service that would otherwise not have occurred with an intake process focussing on only one presenting problem.

Canada’s Supreme Court turns down Charter challenge on right to housing

The Supreme Court of Canada has refused the most vulnerable people in our society the opportunity to have their claims that the government is violating their human rights heard in court. Shocking, but true.Tracy Heffernan was co-counsel in Tanudjaja v. Canada and program director at the Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario. Her centre organized the Right to Housing Coalition of people from many backgrounds and expertise, including people with lived experience of homelessness or of being inadequately housed, community organizations, advocacy groups and academics.

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The Legal Health Check-Up project: an intermediary’s perspective

Available in paper or electronic form, the Legal Health Check-Up gives trusted intermediaries like Michael a list of questions to ask the client in the areas of income, housing, employment, education and health to identity the common legal problems of people living in poverty. Colleen Sym is the Executive Director/Lawyer at Halton Community Legal Services, a community legal clinic funded by Legal Aid Ontario..

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Taking the constitutional right to housing challenge to the Supreme Court of Canada

In our view, this case raises critical issues of access to justice under the Charter. Our next step is to seek leave to appeal at the Supreme Court of Canada. Tracy Heffernan is co-counsel in Tanudjaja v. Canada and program director at the Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario. Her centre initiated the Right to Housing Coalition. Coalition members are people from many backgrounds and expertise, including people with lived experience of homelessness or of being inadequately housed, community organizations, advocacy groups and academics.