View this email in your browser
MERGER UPDATE: Read more here
In the third edition of our quarterly 'Be heard!' newsletter, we continue to bring our 2018-2021 Plan of Action to life with stories about the people we work with.
We target people in our community who have the greatest need for free legal help. This includes people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
THE VOICES OF OUR CLIENTS
 
You have helped me immensely and just by sitting and listening to me and actually hearing what’s going on … I didn’t know I could get help like this,” says Danielle who met one of our lawyers at a support service for people experiencing homelessness. 
 
Since 2003, we've been delivering a weekly advice service at Vincent Care’s city-based drop-in centre Ozanam Community Centre (now relocated and called Ozanam House). There, people experiencing or at risk of homelessness and other forms of social exclusion can access a range of supports. By taking on our clients’ legal matters, we give them space to focus on their housing, health and wellbeing. We have similar partnerships with Flagstaff Crisis Accommodation and Elizabeth Street Common Ground.

Follow former IMCL Senior Lawyer Philippa as she heads down to Ozanam to speak with her client Danielle. 
 

STEPPING IN EARLY TO ADDRESS HOMELESSNESS 
 
Whilst places like Ozanam and services like ours provide a lifeline for people without a home, our legal work doesn’t just start there, when people are already in crisis. We also intervene earlier and seize opportunities to shape laws that prevent people like Danielle falling into homelessness and that are fairer to those experiencing or at risk of it.

We work to protect and grow secure and affordable housing. To increase the availability of stock so more vulnerable people have a stable roof over their head, we’ve been calling for more public housing where housing rights are strong and well-established, and also for improved community housing standards to bring them in line. Read more about what we’re doing here.  

We work hard to protect people from eviction so that they remain housed. Read more about our work.
 
We also work hard to minimise the impact of the justice system on people experiencing homelessness. You can read about some of our current homeless outreach lawyer Lloyd Murphy's ideas to counter the injustice of people experiencing homelessness being over-represented and poorly served by the criminal justice system in the June edition of Parity Magazine.
 
CELEBRATING OUTCOMES FOR PEOPLE WITH LONG-TERM HISTORIES OF HOMELESSNESS
 
We recently saw the positive impact of our law reform advocacy for clients like Lionel who have long-term histories of homelessness. In 2018, we helped him to challenge his State Trustees administration order and regain control of his finances after 20 years without review. We shared his sense of disempowerment and relief in our submission to the Victorian Ombudsman’s recent investigation into State Trustees, who published a strong set of recommendations. The recommendations will give people like Lionel more support and control over their own money.

UPDATES
 
We’re growing! IMCL is pleased to welcome five new staff members to take on some great new projects and vacated positions. You can find out more about them on our website.   
 
We’re merging! IMCL and Flemington-Kensington Community Legal Centre are entering into an exciting process to merge to build on the respective strengths of the organisations and deliver more community-based legal assistance to vulnerable people. You can find out more here.

SUPPORT US 

You can help us provide legal help and resource us to continue our advocacy for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness by donating here. You may donate online or email us at donate@imcl.org.au for a donation form or to be called back to make a phone donation.
Stay tuned for our next quarterly instalment! You can read our previous editions here. 
Twitter
Facebook
Website
You are receiving this email because you are connected to the work of Inner Melbourne Community Legal (formerly North Melbourne Legal Service) as an industry colleague, partner organisation, donor, general supporter.

Our mailing address is:
Inner Melbourne Community Legal Centre
2/508 Queensberry St
North Melbourne, Victoria 3051
Australia

Add us to your address book
Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.