News In Focus
Govan Law Centre launches crowdfund to support homeless women
A crowdfund appeal to provide legal services for women who are homeless has been launched by Govan Law Centre (GLC).
The project will go into women’s support organisations and provide legal services, advice and assistance and money and welfare right services, with the aim of tackling the gender inequality that GLC believes lies at the heart of the homeless system. It aims to raise £5,000 to get the project started, but has set an ambitious stretch target of £20,000, to provide a more holistic, integrated service.
GLC will defend evictions and repossessions, help women make homelessness applications and support them through the homelessness process. The law centre has become concerned that some of its homeless women clients can spend years in expensive temporary accommodation, which leaves them in limbo, puts their life on hold and can cause real financial hardship for them and their children.
It has been providing legal services for rough sleepers in day care centres, which have proven to be very successful. However most of those supported are men, and it has proved harder to provide these services to some of the most vulnerable women.
Lorna Walker, senior solicitor and GLC partner explained: "Women’s experience of homelessness is different to men. They spend longer in temporary accommodation, they are more like to be looking after children, and they tend to stay in abusive or violent relationships to avoid homelessness. Rough sleeping can be particularly dangerous for women. Women’s homelessness tends to be more hidden. At the sharp end of this women can be exploited. It’s more difficult for them to access legal services. Many women facing these issues will not approach a solicitor’s office. We have learned we need to take our services out to them.
"Women need support to care for their children, they need protected from eviction and repossession, they need to leave abusive partners and they need financial assistance. Ultimately they want to find a decent safe home. And with the right funding we can start to help them do this."
Mike Dailly, principal solicitor at GLC added: "Providing specific legal services for women who are homeless is something we have wanted to do for many years. If we raise £5,000 we can make a great start and run rights hubs for women, which we can evaluate and hopefully build on. If we can raise £20,000 we can make a real impact on the lives of homeless women. We need more test cases, to raise more court action and more judicial reviews, to challenge some of the deep seated gender inequalities in our homeless system. Please support our crowd funding for women who are homeless in any way you can."
Click here to go to the crowdfunder page.