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The VLSP Story

Homeless Advocacy Project's Volunteer and Internship Opportunities

 

While many of the legal and advocacy services at HAP are provided by experienced staff, there are also many opportunities for volunteer involvement.  

  • Attorneys are particularly needed to help clients fight eviction proceedings. There are opportunities for motion work and all other aspects of litigation in fast-paced cases that provide very meaningful positive outcomes.   
  • Both attorneys and other legal professionals can very effectively assist severely disabled homeless individuals to secure federal disability benefits and thereby secure not only a source of income, but also access to medical coverage and other services.  
  • Volunteer social service professionals of all types can provide valuable services, from assistance securing housing and other services to individual psychotherapy. 
  • HAP very much welcomes and relies on legal and social work student interns, who have an opportunity to fully engage with clients and learn a broad range of relevant skills in a supportive environment. HAP will work with students to help them obtain academic credit for their internship when possible. 

HAPLegal interns perform a variety of tasks, which can include interviewing clients, drafting pleadings, creating discovery plans, drafting written discovery, attending settlement conferences, and helping to negotiate settlements in eviction cases.  For disability benefit claims, legal interns work directly with clients and health providers, gather medical evidence, research points of law, and write persuasive briefs.  Interns also have the opportunity to research broader legal questions.

 

Students applying for a legal internship at HAP should submit a cover letter and resume to Teresa Lynn Friend, Managing Attorney, tfriend@sfbar.org.

 

HAPSocial work interns are responsible for interviewing clients, making assessments of them, and advocating on their behalf for services for which they are eligible and/or have been denied or delayed in receiving.  They also make referrals to appropriate community resources, including homeless shelters, emergency housing, subsidized housing, public benefits, job training, employment, health care providers, mental health centers, substance abuse treatment, and related programs.

 

Students applying for a social work internship at HAP should submit a cover letter and resume to Julie Rosenthal, Director of Social Services, jrosenthal@sfbar.org.

All other volunteers who are interested in getting involved with HAP, please email the volunteer coordinator at probono@sfbar.org for more information


 

The Homeless Advocacy Project (HAP) provides legal and supporting social services to individuals and families who are homeless or at imminent risk of homelessness.  We prioritize individuals who have mental health disabilities and families.  The most common issues we address are federal disability benefit advocacy, eviction defense, and immigration documentation, but we also may provide brief advice or referrals in many other areas.  We take a comprehensive, holistic approach to clients’ problems in order to address the underlying issues that have lead to a client’s current circumstances.  Years of experience have shown us that we can make the most difference in a client’s life when we focus on helping them to secure a source of income and stabilize their living situation.