LAO established a Client Service Coordination Fund to help poverty law service providers enhance access to justice for their clients by coordinating their services and resources with each other and with other community providers, such as government, non-governmental, and social services agencies.
LAO has approved the following projects for funding from the Client Service Coordination Fund for 2015/16.
Advocacy Centre for Tenants - Ontario (ACTO) and Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA)
Project: Low income energy network (LIEN) project
The fund is extending its 2014/15 support for 2015/16. The LIEN initiative helps clinics advocate for energy-related matters and service to clients. It focuses on outreach work, public legal education and education of community legal clinic staff on solutions to the barriers that low-income energy consumers face in reducing their energy consumption and costs.
Activities to date include advocating for provincial laws that would provide low income families with lower and affordable income energy costs.
Association of Community Legal Clinics of Ontario
Project: on behalf of Knowledge Now
The fund is extending its 2014/15 support for 2015/16. This project supports the development of a durable knowledge-sharing infrastructure within Ontario’s community legal clinic system. The goal is to enhance the system’s efficiency and effectiveness, thereby improving services to clinic clients and communities.
Community Legal Assistance Sarnia
Project: Baamsedaa project
The fund is extending its 2014/15 support for this project to 2015/16. It supports hiring an Aboriginal coordinator to provide effective and culturally appropriate help, including legal assistance and access to justice in civil, family and criminal matters, with the Aboriginal population in Lambton. Next year, LAO will support this position with permanent financial eligibility funding.
Community legal clinic – Brant, Guelph, Halton
Project: Medical review collaborative planning poverty law navigation and coordination initiative
The partners will use the Legal Health Check Up tool, information from trusted intermediaries and partner agencies and new triage models to learn more about the medical eligibility process and risks to clients. The goal is to learn what service providers and clients can do to prevent clients from losing benefits at medical reviews
The project partners include the Hamilton Community Legal Clinic, the Legal Clinic of Guelph and Wellington County, and Halton Community Legal Services.
Hamilton Community Legal Clinic
Project: Aboriginal Project
The fund is extending its 2014/15 support for this project to 2015/16. The clinic will continue to employ an Aboriginal Community Justice Outreach Worker to provide effective and culturally appropriate coordination and connection with Hamilton’s large urban Aboriginal population. This will foster and improve co-ordination and integration with other legal aid services in Hamilton and across all elements of the justice sector. Next year, LAO will support this position with permanent financial eligibility funding.
HIV & AIDS Legal Clinic in Ontario
Project: HALCO Community Hub
The funding will support public legal education and community outreach work.
North Peel Dufferin Community Legal Services/Safe Centre of Peel project
This project will continue to help North Peel and Dufferin Legal Services (NPDCLS), Mississauga Community Legal Services (MCLS) and the South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario (SALCO) serve victims of domestic violence in Peel Region in a more cost effective and efficient manner. This year, a social worker will join the team at NPDCLS, and spend time at the Safe Centre of Peel as well as at the clinic and in the community.
Five county network (Northumberland Community Legal Centre; Community Advocacy and Legal Centre; the Legal Clinic, Kingston Community Legal Clinic; Queen’s Legal Aid; Queen’s Elder Law Clinic; Queen’s Family Law Clinic)
This funding extends previous work and formalizes coordination and collaboration work across the spectrum of LAO-funded client services. The goal is to create a prototype and “promising practices” for client service coordination and improve legal services delivery in ways that can become best practices throughout Ontario.