The Street Lawyers A. (SLA) focuses on providing free legal assistance and representation to homeless people and people living in housing poverty. We fight for a right to housing for all in Hungary, and against discrimination of homeless people and people living in housing poverty. Our idea is to provide legal assistance accessible for everyone: regularly at a busy public square, where the requirements are only a set of camping furniture and enthusiastic volunteers.
Budapest / Pécs (Hungary). We offer hotline services via e-mail and telephone.
Strenghening democracy starts with educating people about their rights and empowering them to exercise such rights. Our goal is to raise awareness for the rights of the most vulnerable and help them to exercise these rights.
Our project could be extended to further spots in Hungary helping more people. We could have a dedicated lawyer for our project and engage legal representation before the courts for more clients. We could produce easy-to-read guidebooks on legal matters for poor and homeepless people.
We plan to secure funding for our organization in order to create financial stability, as the recent political and legislative developments in Hungary created an increasingly repressive climate for civil society organisations. We will carry on recruiting volunteer lawyers, however, would like to secure that we can provide legal representation for our clients and pay the respective court / administrative fees and eventually, lawyer's fees.
The story behind this idea is that two lawyers, desperate about the increasing number of homeless people and the related inactivity of the Hungarian government, decided in 2010 to do something: carry a table and four chairs to a busy square in Budapest and provide legal advice to anyone in need.
The SLA provides free legal aid for homeless people and people living in housing poverty. The cases we take on include prevention of eviction, getting children back to their families who had been removed to state care unlawfully, fighting discrimination in getting access to social benefits.
Can you imagine implementing such idea in your own country? What kind of advice would you give us in the field of fighting for the right of housing?