Leo is a 54-year-old man with a diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder who has spent many years of his life in the mental health system but has no criminal history.
Leo was referred to Ruah Legal Services when he was an inpatient at a mental health ward. He had been charged with stealing. Before becoming unwell, Leo had been living with his partner in a private rental, financed from an inheritance income. The private rental was very expensive, and his partner appeared to be taking advantage of Leo financially. By the time Leo was admitted to the mental health ward, he had no savings and was unable to pay his rent. Leo was effectively homeless with no income stream.
Leo’s lawyer connected him to a Key Worker, who was able to collaborate with the treating team at the hospital and the community team upon discharge. The Key Worker supported Leo to attend the Ruah Community Services ID clinic so that he could obtain a birth certificate that enabled him to set up Centrelink payments.