Very few of us can afford a lawyer when things go wrong, and Legal Aid is not there for most of us. So when someone is threatened with eviction, loses their job, or suffers domestic abuse, their right to justice hangs in the balance. Acting as a fifth emergency service, Law Centres are there to help them. Our campaign will increase their capacity and start to rebalance the justice system.
When people seek help from Law Centres, their legal issues are often intertwined with or the result of non-legal problems. For example, someone being advised about eviction may well need help with personal debts, which if unresolved could lead to the threat of eviction re-emerging. In order to break this cycle of issues and allow someone to move on with their life in the long-term, you have to resolve the non-legal debt problem alongside the legal problem around eviction.
South West London & Ealing Law Centre have developed a new Crisis Navigator role, which focuses on helping clients address their non-legal issues, such as recovering wrongfully denied benefits or accessing mental health support. Through this holistic support, the Navigators are able to create a more effective solution to the client’s problems, as the cyclical trigger issues causing their legal problems are resolved. LCN wants to work with Law Centres nationally to extend this proven scheme.