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

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Street Law Centre WA Inc
Yesterday, Street Law held a pop-up legal clinic with our friends at 55 Central Inc.As part of Homelessness Week, we extended our reach beyond our regular six outreach legal clinics to attend 55 Central’s crisis accommodation and provide free legal advice to their residents. Our Principal Solicitor, Ann-Margaret, and solicitor, Luella, attended 55 Central and spoke with four clients about their legal issues, and worked out a plan on how we can assist them to resolve their legal issues. 55 Central has supported thousands of people facing homelessness by providing a safe place to stay and support services. We have worked with the amazing staff at 55 Central for some time now, the pop-up legal clinic was a great opportunity to meet the staff in person and see the crisis accommodation facilities firsthand. Many thanks to 55 Central for the opportunity to share our services and see firsthand the amazing work you are doing. #HW2022 #HousingHealthHomelessness ... See MoreSee Less
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TRUE OR FALSE THURSDAY!FALSE: When someone is experiencing homelessness it means that person does not have a permanent or secure accommodation. The people who experience homelessness look quite different and vary in life experience.26% of Street Law’s clients are street present, the rest are known as the ‘hidden homeless’. The ‘hidden homeless’ includes people who are couch surfing with friends or family, in a border/lodger arrangement, living in a house without a formal lease agreement, residing in crisis accommodation or a shelter, living in their car, or in a caravan park. At Street Law, we define homelessness as a person having no access or inadequate access to safe, secure and affordable housing that affords the right to live in security, peace and dignity. #HW2022 ... See MoreSee Less
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Michelle* was born in the UK and arrived in Australia in the 1990’s. Michelle was granted permanent residency upon arrival. When Michelle phoned our advice line, she was residing in transitional accommodation after experiencing primary homelessness for a number of years. Despite Michelle holding a current UK passport, WA driver’s licence, her birth certificate and a Medicare card, she was told by the Department of Communities she had 7 days to provide them with her proof of residency, proof of arrival to Australia and her official change of name document or her name would be removed from the priority housing waitlist. Our first step was to contact the Department of Communities to request that Michelle’s name stay on the priority waitlist whilst we obtain the documents they require. A freedom of information application was then submitted to the Department of Home Affairs requesting Michelle’s arrival and residency documents. Michelle’s current last name was different to the last name on her Home Affairs documents, as Michelle had changed her last name when she was a child after her father remarried. As a result, the Department of Communities required proof of her change of name. An application was made to Births, Deaths, and Marriages WA for Michelle’s change of name certificate as Michelle believed her last name was officially changed when she arrived in Western Australia. After being informed that the WA Registry held no records of Michelle, we moved our attention to the UK. We contacted the National Archives in the UK for any records of Michelle’s change of name. Although National Archives did not hold Michelle’s record, it did provide us one step closer to determining how Michelle’s change of name was completed; in the UK a person was not required to lodge their change of name application formally, it was only if a fee was paid to lodge the application with the courts that an official record would be made. As Michelle held a current UK passport with her current name, we submitted a freedom of information request to the UK Passport Office asking for the documents Michelle used to apply for her passport, specifically the documents that allowed her to obtain a passport with her new name as opposed to her birth name. Finally, the change of name mystery was solved with a letter from the passport office outlining that their policy when Michelle applied for her passport allowed for a parent to provide a letter stating why their child was now known by another name to that shown on their birth certificate. A letter from Michelle’s father is all that would have been provided when she applied for her passport that allowed her to change her last name. Once Michelle received the passport with her new last name on it, all of her other documents would have been applied for with her passport being the primary form of identification, enabling all of her ID to have her current name listed. Michelle now had a record to show how her name had been changed.We provided the Department of Communities with the letter we obtained from the UK passport office, and the documents we received from the Department of Home Affairs, that being Michelle’s incoming passenger card, and visa grant notice. Michelle’s status on the priority housing waitlist was now secure. Prior to our assistance Michelle was receiving frequent contact from the Department of Communities requesting her documents, and she had no idea how to obtain the documents they wanted. Michelle was now able to sufficiently prove her identity and was on her way to securing accommodation. It is challenging for people who are experiencing homelessness, born overseas and reside in Australia on a permanent basis to prove their identity, as they need to provide their proof of arrival and residency status in order to be able to obtain the necessary identity documents. Street Law’s assistance applying for and obtaining our client's identity documents, removes one of the many barriers people face to exit homelessness. *Name changed for privacy reasons #HW2022 ... See MoreSee Less
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It was a pleasure for Street Law to be part of The Law Society of Western Australia's Young Lawyers Committee's Social Justice Career Opportunities Evening held last Thursday. Joining other members of WA’s legal community to discuss different pathways into a social justice career was Street Law Solicitor and Community Legal Education Project Support, Luella. Over 70 young lawyers and law students heard firsthand from Luella about her career pathway from volunteer law student to Solicitor at Street Law. Inspired by wanting to help vulnerable people in our community, Luella explained her role in working with our client group to gain access to justice, which removes one of the many barriers for people to exit homelessness. Thank you to the Law Society of WA’s Young Lawyers Committing for inviting Street Law to participate, and the The College of Law Australia for hosting the event. ... See MoreSee Less
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How can you make a difference this Homelessness Week?1. Help amplify the message of Homelessness Week and share your stories, thoughts and concerns about homelessness and Australia’s housing crisis on social media using the hashtag #HW20222. Sign and share the Everybody’s Home petition to call for additional investment into social housing everybodyshome.com.au/take-action/sign-our-petition-to-treasurer-jim-chalmers/ 3. Donate a new pair of socks (or four) to Street Doctor's annual homelessness week sock drive to provide some warmth to people experiencing homelessness4. Donate to community services that directly assist people who are experiencing homelessness, such as Street Law, Uniting WA’s Tranby Centre, St Patrick’s Community Support Centre, Ruah, Karnany Resource Centre, 55 Central, Passages, or the Beacon. Let’s work together to break the cycle of homelessness! ... See MoreSee Less
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