April 1, 2004 Regular News Homelessness seminar set Homelessness seminar set “Under Seige—Meeting the Legal Needs of the Homeless,” is the title of a day-long seminar sponsored by The Florida Bar Public Interest Law Section’s Ad Hoc Committee on Homelessness, and Ninth Judicial Circuit Public Defender Bob Wesley.The seminar will be held Friday, April 23, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Public Defender’s Office, Room 400, 435 N. Orange Avenue, Orlando.The $95 fee includes breakfast, lunch, and refreshments afterwards.“The purpose of the seminar is not only to educate advocates for the homeless, but to draw in and interest new participants, both lawyers and nonlawyers, in the Ad Hoc Committee on Homelessness in Florida,” said Jane Shaeffer, chair.“We’ve purposely kept the cost low to make it more accessible for all interested people.”There will be plenty of opportunity to network with other advocates in the field, and there will be opportunities to ask questions and share information.Featured speakers include Naomi S. Stern and Tulin M. Ozdeger, both of the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty in Washington, D.C.The agenda of the seminar, which will provide six CLE credits, will include an overview on the criminalization of homelessness, successful legal challenges to such measures, and strategies to work with government, including alternatives to incarceration.Another segment, called “Domestic Violence to Homelessness— One Small Step,” will address domestic violence as it intersects with poverty and homelessness law. The focus will be on evictions and the Fair Housing Act, and legal arguments made in response to discriminatory evictions of domestic violence victims in federally funded housing. Discussion will also address NIMBY (Not In My Backyard) issues, the FHA, and successful nonlitigation advocacy efforts.The third section is called “Legal and Policy Strategies for Representatives of Homeless Clients.” Part of the discussion will focus on the education rights of children in unstable housing, including rights to immediate enrollment in school without documentation, to remain in the same school despite residential mobility, and to receive transportation to school. Attorneys will also learn about barriers that make it difficult for homeless persons to apply for and receive SSI and SSDI benefits, and legal strategies for removing those barriers. Finally, strategies in obtaining assistance available to homeless service providers from the federal government in the form of surplus property under Title V of the McKinney Act will also be addressed.A panel discussion, “Pitching In: Practical Opportunities to Help Meet Unmet Needs,” will provide an overview of the legal needs met by legal aid and public defender offices, identify gaps in service these offices are unable to meet, and provide concrete suggestions on helping clients work through the public benefits maze.For reservations and to register, call 407-836-2199; e-mail PubDef@circuit9.org or mail to Homelessness Seminar, P.O. Box 532055, Orlando, FL. 32853-2055. For more information, visit the Web site: www.PD.Circuit9.org.