Navigating the legal system can be tricky, and legal bills, terminology, logistics, and processes can be extremely difficult to understand.
That is why this week’s SaultOnline outreach article is devoted to sharing with you the resources available in our community that provide free or reduced fee services to give you fair and equal representation and the information that you need to make informed legal decisions.
Algoma Community Legal Clinic – Law office funded by Legal Aid Ontario, staffed by lawyers, community legal workers, and support staff, providing free legal advice/representation to eligible clients. Opened Monday to Friday 9am-12pm and 1:15pm-4pm at 477 Queen St. E. Call 705-942-4900 for more information.
Lawyer Referral Services – Connects people in need of a lawyer or paralegal. Provides contact information and free consultation for 30 minutes to help determine rights and options. Call 1-855-947-5255 or go online.
Legal Aid Ontario – Geared to income legal assistance (free in some cases) in criminal, domestic violence, family, immigration and refugee law. Can be done by calling 1-800-668-8258 or more information can be found here.
Victim Services of Algoma – In addition to providing on-scene and practical help, they can assist you to apply for Criminal Injuries Compensation. For an application, you can visit them at 477 Queen St. E., online, or call 705-945-6905.
Ministry of Attorney General Victim/Witness Assistance program – Offers free court preparation, needs assessment, emotional support, crisis intervention, referrals, as well as financial/court-based supports so that victims/families can attend court. Click here or call 705-946-6567 to determine eligibility and get more information.
Indian Friendship Centre Indigenous Family Court Worker Program – Assists Indigenous people to better understand their rights, options, and responsibilities when appearing before the court. They can ensure participants receive equal/fair representation and liaise to address cultural misunderstandings. Call 705-945-8000 or visit 122 East St. 8:30am-4:30pm Monday to Friday.
Algoma Family Services Youth Justice Program – Counselling for youth 12-17 years old who are in conflict with the law. Call 705-945-5050 or visit 205 McNabb St. from 8:30am-4:30pm Monday to Friday.
Canadian Mental Health Association Court Support and Diversion Program – Provides general information and support to people with mental illness/addictions/intellectual disabilities who are in conflict with the law. Visit 386 Queen St. E. Monday to Friday 8:30am-4:30pm or call 705-759-0458 for more information.
Women in Crisis Family Court Support Worker Program – Provides information on the family court process, assistance in documenting history of abuse and accessing legal aid, and offers referrals. Visit 23 Oakland Ave, their web page, or call 705-759-1230 for more information.
Remember that the Algoma Community Legal Clinic attends the Soup Kitchen on the second Monday of every month from 10:30am – 11:30am, offering free legal advice.
They also attend the Neighbourhood Resource Centre (NRC) every Wednesday afternoon to be available to the community.
For human rights information, assistance, and guidance, visit the Ontario Human Rights Legal Support Centre here.
For tenants rights, landlord rights, and rent legality information, visit the Ontario Landlord and Tenant Association here.
For anyone appearing before the Landlord and Tenant Board, the Algoma Community Legal Clinic also provides Tenant Duty Counsel Services to those who need it.
If you missed any of our previous outreach articles, no worries. Shelter resources can be found here, NRC information and food resources can be found here, and job and skill development resources can be here.
Remember – knowledge is power. Knowing your rights before getting yourself into a pickle can make the world of a difference.
If you don’t know, ask.