The Advocacy Office offers services of information and support to persons experiencing difficulties in day-to-day living. These issues include accommodation needs, landlord-tenant disputes, health and disability issues, and access to social benefits and other government services.
It is a free service that St. Paul’s offers as part of its ministry to the community at large.
The Advocacy Office does not offer money, food, clothing or shelter.
Who are our clients?
Clients include men and women, young and old, of all faiths and none, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or ethnicity. Most are residents of the West End or downtown, but many come from the lower mainland. They come having heard of the service mostly by word of mouth, but sometimes by referral from another agency. They all share a need for friendly help and support.
What is the process?
The receptionist makes the initial contact with the client making a preliminary assessment of the problem. A trained advocate then works with the client in a one-on-one situation to address his or her needs.
The advocate provides the client with information relevant to the issues involved, speaks on behalf of, and mediates for, the client, and represents the client at tribunals and other hearings, as needed to solve the problem.
If appropriate the advocate re-directs the client to a more specialized agency. Advocates have a broad knowledge base, offering a wide range of services.
Internet access is provided for clients to find information from government agencies and to download all kinds of application forms.
The Advocacy Office does not focus on specific issues or groups, but advocates for individual clients, not causes. No client is turned away and no problem left unheard.