I first heard about Streetwise Community Law Centre from my mentor at a training provider. I was close to losing my rented accommodation.
I rang Streetwise and explained my situation and was asked to pop in.
I sat down with a solicitor and she worked out that the housing benefit office had messed up my claim. She contacted my landlord to explain the situation and ask them to be patient and delay the eviction. She then helped me put in the forms to get my housing benefit back dated. This problem was only resolved because my solicitor rang around and made people listen as when I tried I got nowhere and was treated as if of no importance, just another number.
I also used Streetwise again when I was trying to move. The council had closed my case and forgotten that I had been temporarily housed by them so I wasn’t on the list to be moved to permanent accommodation. My solicitor took up my complaint and my case was re opened and my priority backdated. I moved into my permanent home two months later.
When I was a client with the Law Centre I was asked to take part in a BBC2 documentary to explain how some agencies take advantage of young people and how Streetwise helps young people.
I decided to become a member of the management committee because I believe the Law Centre is a great help to young people. Not every young person knows the value of such centres. Becoming a member of the committee is my way of giving something back and also for me to try and encourage more young people to use Law Centres because young people are vulnerable and don’t know their rights.
As part of the management committee I have had the chance to twice be involved in recruiting new mobile advice workers. I have also taken part in a sponsored walk where I was able to raise £127 for the Law Centre. As a young person I feel my views are highly respected on the committee and taken into account. Its great to have the opportunity to be here at the conference.
I think that what we are doing is making a big impact on the community.
Streetwise does not just solve your problems they also check on you after your case has closed to ensure everything is ok. The staff at Streetwise are all friendly and young people feel they can come in and talk about anything.
I hope that Streetwise will expand and other services will follow suit.
Thanks to Streetwise I have now completed by studies and have stayed in my full time job and am in the process of buying my first property.
Without the help I received who knows where I would be or what I’d be doing.