MLRC has New Offices
MLRC has been resident in the Sophia Housing complex on Cork Street since our inception in 2009. We are very grateful for their support as we benefit from access to low cost accommodation and utilities. Sophia Housing has recently facilitated MLRC’s move to larger premises at Cork Street. Substantial upgrading work was undertaken before the move and considerable assistance was received from Sophia staff for which we are most grateful.
What Does MLRC Do?
We have been asked on many occasions – what kind of work does MLRC do?
MLRC not only offers a legal service to the most vulnerable in our society but we see the human being behind the legal problem. Our aim is to offer a more holistic service to the person in need of our support. We recognise that clients need emotional as well as practical support.
Volunteers are an invaluable asset to any organisation and the provision of MLRC’s voluntary befriending service to many of our clients has greatly assisted our vulnerable client group both in terms of accessing their rights and providing additional supports.
MLRC has also developed good working relationships with and provides advice and training to organisations working in the area of homelessness e.g. Citizens Information Centres, Focus Ireland, Dublin Simon Community and Society of St. Vincent DePaul.
Here are some examples of our work in recent months.
- In early 2010 our Solicitor in Charge met with an asylum seeker who had been in Ireland since 2006. He had no family in Ireland and was quite disabled as a result of torture. He came to us with regard to his application for medically suitable accommodation. MLRC liaised with the relevant agencies and accommodation was secured for him in Dublin which allowed him to access essential medical services. In early 2012, the gentleman contacted MLRC again as he was informed that he was being moved out of his accommodation to another county despite the fact that his medical team were situated in Dublin. MLRC advocated on his behalf and a successful agreement was reached with regard to our client’s medical and accommodation needs. The most important outcome of all for our client was that he was able to remain in his home.
- In April 2012, MLRC met with a gentleman at the Focus Ireland clinic. He had separated from his wife in 2009 and was homeless, staying in B&B’s and friends’ houses. His mental health and ability to see his children were adversely affected by his living arrangements. He had tried to get onto the Homeless List and the Local Authority Housing List but despite being homeless since 2009, he was unable to do so as the Local Authority were of the view he had arrears of rent. MLRC advocated on his behalf with the agencies concerned and within a very short period of time a successful agreement was reached and our client was assessed as having a housing need, allowing him to obtain accommodation.
- In August 2010, MLRC met with a gentleman who had been living in rented accommodation since 2004 when he had separated from his wife. Despite the fact that he could no longer afford to pay rent as he was unemployed, he was having difficulty being placed on the Local Authority Housing List due to his name being on the deeds of his wife’s property. He had not lived in the property since their separation; it was now her home where she lived with their 4 children. Over the course of 2011, MLRC advocated on behalf of our client with the relevant agencies, preparing for Equality and Judicial Review proceedings. In January 2012, a successful agreement was reached and our client was placed on the Local Authority Housing List, back dated to 2010.
MLRC’s ethos of partnership and a solution based approach will continue as we work with NGO’s, Local Authorities, Housing Agencies and all organisations advocating for the homeless or those at risk of homelessness to ensure clients have the appropriate supports they need and that they realise their rights and entitlements.
Our Website: www.mercylaw.ie
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