Homeless Legal Clinic

The Homeless Legal Clinic (HLC) was established in the Spring of 1990 in an effort to address the legal needs of homeless people in Rhode Island. The HLC relies on volunteers to provide legal services to the homeless without charge. The objective of the HLC is to serve in an outreach capacity by seeking out homeless and at risk clients at RI shelters. The HLC can provide direct legal services to those who cannot afford an attorney or may be unable to travel to a legal assistance office, are unaware such services exist or may be apprehensive about visiting a lawyer's office.

The Homeless Legal Clinic Program is funded largely in part from a generous grant by the Rhode Island Bar Foundation. We thank the Bar Association for their support and our volunteer attorneys without whom the Homeless Legal Clinic could not exist. Legal Clinics are currently held at Amos House and Crossroads in Providence.  There are also legal clinics at the Harrington Hall men's shelter in Cranston and the WARM Center in Westerly.

The clinics are currently staffed by Attorney Chris Fay, members of Rhode Island Legal Services, including Mary Curtin and Gretchen Bath, Attorney Paul Kuhn, Attorney Peter DeSimone, Attorney Jack McConnell, Attorney Kevin Hackman, Attorney Robert Craven, Attorney Paula Lynch and Attorney Steve Miller. Attorney Neville Bedford, Attorney Arthur Parise, and Attorney Andrew Horwitz currently assist by serving on the Homeless Legal Clinic referral list.  The clinics continue to run smoothly due to the dedication of the volunteer attorneys, volunteer law students, and shelter liaisons.

The clinics are open to all individuals who are currently homeless or at risk of homelessness.  We help with the following issues: Housing, Social Security, Medical Assistance, veterans' issues, Family Independence Program, court procedures, bankruptcy and identification issues, food stamp benefits, unemployment appeals, general public assistance, and expungement.

The RI Volunteer Lawyer Program (VLP) continues to work closely with the clinic program assisting with recruitment and training, and provides insurance and recognition to clinic attorneys who are also members of the VLP. Many of our dedicated volunteer attorneys are members of the Rhode Island Bar Foundation Volunteer Lawyer Program.

To sign up for an upcoming legal clinic, or to bring a clinic to your site, please contact the Coalition at 401.721.5685 or email info@rihomeless.org

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