The leaves in our city are turning beautiful shades of red and orange. September 23rd was the first day of fall. With the change of seasons, comes the cold. Many of us are turning up the thermostat, drinking pumpkin spice lattés, and cozying up in our warm sweaters. This is not the case for all of Saskatoon’s community members, especially those living on limited incomes or below the poverty line.
Here is a story from a CLASSIC client this past winter:
A young Indigenous single mother who had just moved to Saskatoon from her home community and started school hoping to get an education to give her daughter a better life came to CLASSIC for help. Her oven had stopped working. She had been using the oven as her heat source for 3 months throughout the dead of winter in a basement suite because the furnace had stopped working in early November. The landlord told her to turn the oven on and open the oven door to heat her home.
She had missed some school given her living situation. She and the baby were often sick or not getting sleep due to the cold. CLASSIC provided her with representation at the Office of Residential Tenancies. CLASSIC and our client won against the landlord. He was made to fix the furnace, replace the oven, and compensate her for the suffering she experienced without a furnace.
CLASSIC also worked with her to reach out to her educational institution to explain the circumstances around why she was unable to attend school. They allowed her to continue with the program.
Without CLASSIC, this single mother would not have gone to the Office of Residential Tenancies. The landlord would have continued renting out the basement suite without heat, and the single mother very likely would have been asked to withdraw from school.
CLASSIC represented 161 individuals on their landlord-renter matters last year. Landlord-renter law represents 20% of the work CLASSIC does. We represent individuals in over 25 areas of law. These individuals would otherwise have no legal representation and be alone in their legal process.
CLASSIC served over 1500 individuals last year in the following ways:
- Provided full legal representation to 820 clients (through our clinic called the “Walk-in Advocacy Clinic” and overseeing the “Student Training and Employment Program where we supervise students to work on the files),
- Volunteer lawyers from Saskatoon provided free, half-hour advice sessions to 309 people (through our clinic called the “Legal Advice Clinic), and
- We assisted 375 people apply, pay for, and receive identification (through our “Project ID”).
CLASSIC does not work alone – thanks to our many partners who help us serve clients and work to address the inequities in the justice system that affect low-income individuals.
CLASSIC is a not-for-profit organization. Currently, most of our funding is year-to-year. By donating to CLASSIC you have the chance to help us make a positive impact on thousands of lives.
CLASSIC is excited that lawyer Deb Hopkins and retired Professor Tim Quigley are willing to match all donations to a maximum of $10,000. Deb Hopkins and Tim Quigley are excited to make a positive impact on the community and support access to justice with you!