Careers in Helping the Homeless

Careers in Helping the Homeless
••• the homeless image by Yuriy Rozanov from

The homeless are often in need of support to obtain services, get help with legal cases and find shelter. There are numerous careers that people can choose from to help these people get out of poverty. They can be in the legal, counseling or services arenas. These careers offer the individual a way to give back and serve a greater purpose.


Lawyers can represent homeless people in court and help them get benefits.
••• the homeless image by Yuriy Rozanov from

There are numerous careers within the legal arena that aid the homeless, many of which are through organizations such as The Legal Aid Society and Legal Aid. Lawyers provide legal services for homeless individuals in areas such as criminal proceedings, civil litigation or in protecting children's rights. For example, the lawyer may represent a homeless person who needs to receive Social Security benefits. These services are often offered free of charge. These organizations also hire paralegals to work with the homeless. These individuals support the lawyers by helping to prepare the case and assist with clients.

Case Management and Services

People can also find careers working with the homeless through case management and services. One career in this area is a case manager, who advocates for those with mental issues and disabilities to receive services they need. These services can include housing, health care and counseling, depending on the individual's needs. They also aid homeless individuals in understanding and filling out any necessary paperwork. Social workers serve the homeless by interviewing them and compiling a personal history for the individual. This involves analysis of any personal records that the individual may have, including criminal records. They may work in conjunction with lawyers to prepare cases for clients.

Counseling Services

Mental health counselors help those who have mental or emotional issues along with supporting their families. They meet with the client on an individual basis, helping them to overcome depression, stress and various substance abuse issues. A mental health counselor may also help the individual to outline future job goals and to choose a career. He may work with advocacy programs or help to reach those in the community, such as the homeless, who are in need of their services. These professionals often specialize in a particular area, such as substance abuse or working with older adults.

Investigation Services

Investigators help the homeless by assisting the legal staff in preparing the case for a criminal proceeding. Their part lies in investigation of the scene of a crime, writing detailed accounts of the scene, photographing evidence and speaking with witnesses. When interviewing a witness, the investigator must also prepare a written statement from the individual. This way she can gather the necessary supporting evidence to argue the client's case in court by verifying the data. Investigators often are hired by organizations that support the homeless, such as The Legal Aid Society.