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Becoming homeless for many, if not most, can be as simple as a job loss plus a major unexpected  bill. When people need food and shelter, their need is often obvious. Legal problems can be just as significant — but are often hidden. Thankfully, there are some resources available.

A place to start is the Arizona Justice Center, which advocates for the homeless and for the working poor. Its services include free legal counseling, marriage and family counseling, addiction counseling, mail assistance for the homeless, and ID document storage for the homeless. It is also a SNAP (food stamps) distributor.

Its office is located at 7142 N. 57th Avenue, Glendale. Its phone number is 623-847-2772.

The Brad Riner Assistance Office at the First United Methodist Church is a little over three blocks away from the Arizona Justice Center. It can provide clothing, toiletries, sack lunches, food boxes and, in some cases, limited assistance with utility bills and with bus passes.

The Riner Assistance Office is open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays. It is located at the church at 7102 N. 58th Drive. On Wednesdays, there is an informal worship service at the church at noon, which is followed by a free meal.

Maricopa County has a regional homeless court. It is designed to resolve problems for people who have arrest warrants for victimless misdemeanor offenses. Prosecutors, public defenders, counselors and judges work together to resolve cases and to allow people to perform community service in lieu of their fines. It is not an easy program and often takes months to complete.

Various justice courts and municipal courts can refer cases to the Regional Homeless Court. The court meets in a shelter, Central Arizona Shelter Services (CASS), at 204 S. 12th Avenue in Phoenix. Its secessions resemble more of a graduation ceremony than a traditional court hearing because the judge is usually only giving good news. The Regional Homeless Court can be contacted at 602-506-0063.

Many people are homeless, or about to be homeless, through no fault of their own. If you are not in a position to help cure homelessness as a societal problem, perhaps you are in a position where you could help one person.