New Legal Partnership for Ending Homelessness

EDMONTON, May 4 /CNW/ - Boyle McCauley Health Centre and Field Law work together to contribute to Edmonton's 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness.

Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel attended the launch of a new Innovative Legal Partnership Announcement on Thursday, April 29, 2010 in support of a new Homeless Initiative.

Boyle McCauley Health Centre in Edmonton has received funding to implement the Pathways to Housing Program as a component of the city's and province's 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness.

For the past 30 years, Boyle McCauley Health Centre, a registered non-profit organization and AHS funded agency, has been providing primary health care and health promotion services to Edmonton's inner city communities.

Pathways to Housing was developed in New York City by Dr. Sam Tsemberis, and is a "housing first program." The program provides immediate access and rental assistance to permanent community based scattered-site apartment living. To sustain housing, achieve recovery goals and reintegrate into the community, the program utilizes a professional interdisciplinary Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) team, which works with the client providing wrap around intensive support, treatment and rehabilitation services. This model has ended the cycle of homelessness for thousands of individuals.

Pathways to Housing has been operational in Edmonton since August 2009, and clients have been accepted into the program since November 2009. Demand for services continues to grow, and the brokering of a new Innovative Legal Partnership will assist the Boyle McCauley Health Centre in contributing to the goal of ending homelessness in our community. This partnership will be a true working collaboration making a difference in Edmonton.

"Establishing relationships between non-profit organizations and private firms enhances the opportunity for both parties to contribute to building better communities. We applaud the work of Pro Bono Law Alberta in facilitating this process and very much look forward to working with Field Law in this innovative and exciting partnership," says Cecilia Blasetti, Executive Director of the Boyle McCauley Health Centre.

"The Pathways Pro Bono Project, Edmonton" brings together Field Law, which will provide legal support and services at no cost to the Pathways to Housing Program, and the Boyle McCauley Health Centre.

"PBLA is extremely pleased to be involved in the brokering of this partnership between Field Law, and the Boyle McCauley Health Centre - Pathways to Housing Program," states Bruce Churchill-Smith, QC, President of Pro Bono Law Alberta. "This project creates new opportunities for lawyers to become involved in an initiative that strives to end homelessness in Edmonton and increases access to justice for Albertans living with limited means, which is one of the major objectives for PBLA."

PBLA is a non-profit organization that promotes access to justice in Alberta by creating and promoting opportunities for lawyers to provide pro bono (free) legal services to persons of limited means. PBLA was formed in 2007 as the legacy project in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Law Society of Alberta. This is the fourth project PBLA has brokered between organizations seeking pro bono legal services, law firms and organizations that can assist them. For more information, visit www.pbla.ca.

Field Law will provide pro bono legal support and services to the Boyle McCauley Health Centre - Pathways to Housing Program in support of Edmonton's 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness.

"One of the core values of our Firm is to give back to the communities in which we work and live. Field Law is proud to be supporting this new, very exciting initiative that is expected to make a real impact for many of Edmonton's chronically homeless people," said Jim Casey, QC, Managing Partner, Field Law.

Field Law is a regional law firm with offices in Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta as well as in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. Field Law has about 100 lawyers who work together to provide a wide variety of legal services to businesses and institutions along with offering private services to individuals. For more information on Field Law visit www.fieldlaw.com.

SOURCE Field Law

For further information: For further information: Field Law - MEDIA CONTACT: Tammy Wiebe, Marketing Director, Phone: (780) 423-7654, Email: twiebe@fieldlaw.com; PBLA - MEDIA CONTACT: Gillian Marriott, QC, Executive Director, Phone: (403) 541-4840, Email: gillian.marriott@pbla.ca; Boyle McCauley Health Centre - Pathways to Housing Program - MEDIA CONTACT: Cecilia Blasetti, Executive Director, Boyle McCauley Health Centre, Phone: (780) 422-7333 ext. 267, Email: cecilia.blasetti@albertahealthservices.ca

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