Overview of the HPLC
The Homeless Persons’ Legal Clinic (HPLC) is a project of PILCH. The HPLC is a specialist legal service that provides free legal assistance and advocacy for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
The HPLC provides legal services at crisis accommodation centres and welfare agencies around Melbourne to encourage direct access by clients. Host agencies include Melbourne Citymission, The Big Issue, St Vincent de Paul Society, the Salvation Army, Hanover, VACRO, Homeground Housing Service and Northside Community Centre. To see Clinic times and locations, click here.
Services are provided by pro bono lawyers from law firms and legal departments, including Allens Linklaters, Clayton Utz, Corrs Chambers Westgarth, Freehills, Harwood Andrews, King Wood Mallesons and Minter Ellison. Each firm is responsible for the provision of services at one or two host agencies on a weekly basis.
The areas of law the HPLC can assist with include: housing and tenancy, fines and infringements (which are directly related to an individuals homelessness), social security and dealing with Centrelink, discrimination, credit and debt and guardianship and administration orders. In general, the HPLC cannot assist with serious criminal issues, family or immigration law. If you come to us with criminal, family or immigration law issues we will do our best to refer you to another legal service provider.
In addition to providing legal services, the Clinic undertakes a range of law reform and public policy activities. These activities are intended to identify and seek to change laws and policies that impact disproportionately or in a discriminatory way against people experiencing homelessness.
The HPLC also conducts a range of community legal education and consumer participation activities.