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Making connections that count

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Legal Aid BC (LABC) can’t always provide people with lawyers to represent them, but we do what we can to help. This story shows how our Intake staff were able to make a big impact on the life of someone who had a housing issue. (We have changed the client’s name for confidentiality.)

Bhavna, a paraplegic who uses a wheelchair and relies on multiple aides for her care, was facing eviction from her home of 35 years. The apartment owner, the bank and a real estate company told Bhavna she had months to find a new home due to the foreclosure and sale of her suite. 

She wasn’t sure what to do, and by this time the coronavirus pandemic had already hit BC. Despite the obvious difficulties of trying to find an affordable place to live during a pandemic, Bhavna’s landlord insisted that she had to leave her home by a specific date.

A lot of calls were made on Bhavna’s behalf, all aiming to prevent her from being evicted. LABC’s Intake Supervisor, Wendy, emailed their MLA’s office first, which contacted Chimo Community Services. There was also help from Marie, the local agent assistant in our local agent’s office in Richmond, who provided other resources.

This eventually led to a contact at Disability Alliance BC. Wendy assisted Bhavna on the call and that organization provided Bhavna with a lawyer who was able to get her an extension. This allowed her to stay in her suite until the pandemic improved. 

The lawyer also got a commitment from BC Housing to assist Bhavna as an emergency client. BC Housing, the MLA, and her social worker are all still in touch, working towards finding a suitable place for her to live once the pandemic has ended. 

Bhavna was very relieved and credited LABC staff with pointing her in the right direction. It’s just one example of the hidden work that our Intake assistants do every day to make connections that count.


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