Street Law Centre – Front/Home Page

Due to the government moving to Phase 4 of the COVID-19 response plan, Street Law staff are no longer working remotely.

 

Street Law considers the health and safety of our clients, staff and volunteers as a paramount concern. Following the government moving to phase 4 of the Covid 19 Recovery plan Street Law is no longer working remotely and we have all returned according to a plan of action developed over the past month.

 

As of Monday 6 July, Street Law will be commencing attending clinics at St Pat’s, Passages and Tranby. For more details of these outreach clinics, please follow this link

Street Law is a free outreach legal service for the homeless and those at risk of homelessness in Western Australia.

OUR UPDATES

TRIVIA THURSDAY

TRUE: The Australian government at all levels are under an obligation to progressively implement the right to adequate housing. This obligation stems from Australia being a party to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

The right to housing is more than simply a right to shelter. Whether housing is adequate depends on a range of factors including legal security of tenure, availability of services, materials and facilities, affordability, accessibility, habitability, location, and cultural adequacy. Homelessness is a human right breach which requires immediate action, nobody deserves to be without adequate housing and a safe space to call their own.
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CLAIRE'S STORY

In January 2020, Claire* connected with Street Law at our outreach legal clinic at Tranby. Claire was born in Vietnam and arrived in Australia in 1971. Claire was granted permanent residency in 1978. When Claire connected with us, she was couch surfing and living with advanced liver and heart failure. Claire urgently required photo ID so that she could continue to receive Centrelink benefits and so that she could be placed on the public housing waitlist. Centrelink had stated she only had a few months to obtain her identity documents. Claire required our help as she only had limited identity documents in her possession.

Claire’s only option to obtain photo ID was to apply for an Immicard from the Department of Home Affairs. An ImmiCard is a form of photo ID that helps visa holders access government services in Australia, such as Centrelink benefits.

We explained to Claire that applying for an Immicard is a long process as it requires obtaining documents that demonstrate she had been living in Australia since her arrival in 1971. After gathering the documents and preparing application which outlined Claire’s life in Australia the application was submitted. Home Affairs approved Claire’s application and she was granted an Immicard.

This is a successful story for Claire as she obtained photo ID before the Centrelink deadline and received priority housing. When we informed Claire of her successful application, she said “It feels like winning the lottery!”

Since Claire’s case we have been assisting several other clients in obtaining an Immicard. For people born overseas, who have arrived in Australia before 1990, it is extremely difficult to obtain photo ID, especially when the person is vulnerable and experiencing other hardships.

*name changed*
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TRIVIA THURSDAY

TRUE: This means that those experiencing homelessness cannot access safe, secure, affordable and adequate housing that gives them the right to live in security, peace and dignity.

We are proud to be part of a number of not for profit services that are helping those who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

#endhomelessnessnow
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Every Wednesday morning a solicitor from our Street Law team travels to Passages Youth Engagement Hub to provide advice and assistance to the young people engaged at the hub. Street Law first partnered with Passages in 2012, and it has been a strong and lasting partnership ever since. Passages recently said the following about working with us:

“It is extremely important for our clients to be empowered with the knowledge and advice that the Street Law team has been able to consistently provide whilst working collaboratively. Not only do our young people benefit from Street Law visiting passages on a weekly basis but their staff are always happy to bestow our youth workers with their knowledge and information pertaining to the legal system."

We value our partnership with Passages greatly. Their service is providing essential services to young people aged from 12 to 25 years old. Passages provides a non-judgemental safe space for marginalised and at-risk young people, offering practical assistance and support, while identifying longer term needs and issues.
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That is a lot of pro bono hours!

In addition to this amazing amount of pro bono hours contributed by our secondees, our volunteer law students contributed 1562 hours to Street Law over the last financial year. How amazing is that!

This pro bono legal assistance increases our capacity to provide quality assistance to our clients. Our secondee’s and volunteers assist our solicitors with our outreach legal clinics and with ongoing case work. We would not be able to assist as many client’s as we do without all the past, present and future secondee’s and volunteers!

We are looking forward to working with our partner law firms, Ashurst, King & Wood Mallesons, MinterEllison, and Corrs Chambers Westgarth Careers, in this new year. Your ongoing partnership, support and commitment to justice is always appreciated.
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