Pilot program gives free legal advice to homeless


Dozens of homeless people in Athens have recently been receiving free legal advice thanks to the new Street Lawyering Program being piloted jointly by nongovernmental organizations HumanRights360 and Steps. 

“I knew that in Denmark the homeless are provided with free legal advice and for the last two years I have been looking for ways to start something similar in Greece,” says Tassos Smetopoulos, founder of Steps.

The program, which provides advice on a wide range of legal issues, has so far helped scores. In September, it assisted 39 people in 43 cases, while in October 35 people were aided in 39 cases.

Lawyer and Steps member Katerina Pournara says she initially informs the homeless about their rights and if a lawsuit is pending, she refers them to the bar association which provides for the appointment of a lawyer for people who do have income to represent them in civil or criminal cases.