Homeless Persons' Legal Clinic

The Homeless Persons' Legal Clinic (HPLC) provides free legal advice and representation to people experiencing or at risk of homelessness at a number of community agencies across Queensland.

HPLC locations


The HPLC currently operates at the following agencies and times:

Brisbane

Brisbane Youth Service
42 McLachlan Street, Fortitude Valley
Phone: 3252 3750
Monday
(by appointment)
1.00pm to 3.00pm
Brisbane Homelessness Service Centre
Kurilpa Hall, 174 Boundary Street, West End
Phone: 3036 4444
Tuesday
(drop-in and by appointment)
9.30am to 11.00am
New Farm Neighbourhood Centre
967 Brunswick Street, New Farm
Phone: 3358 5600
 Fortnightly Tuesday
(drop-in and by appointment)
10.00am to 11.30am
Pindari Men's Hostel
28 Quarry Street, Spring Hill
 Tuesday
(residents only)

9.30am to 10.30am
Kyabra Phone Clinic
Phone: 3373 9499
Tuesday
(by appointment)
2.00pm to 4.00pm
139 Club
505 Brunswick St, Fortitude Valley
Phone: 3254 1144
Thursday
(drop-in)
9.00am to 11.00am
Roma House
535 Wickham Terrace, Spring Hill
Thursday
(residents only)
9.30am to 11.30am
West End Community House
4 Norfolk Road, South Brisbane
Phone: 3217 2333
Fortnightly Thursday
(drop-in)
9.00am to 10.00am
Pindari Women's Hostel
28 Quarry Street, Spring Hill
Phone: 3832 6073
Fortnightly Friday
(residents only)
10am to 11.30am
Anglican Women's Hostel
Phone: 3514 4503
 By appointment
(residents only)
Various times


Regional

Cairns - Youth Empowered Towards Independence
3 Winkworth Street, Bungalow
Phone: 4051 4927
Fortnightly Monday
(drop-in and by appointment)
10.00am to 12.00pm
Cairns - Mall outreach
Corner Shields & Lake Streets, Cairns
Fortnightly Tuesday
(drop-in)
7.30am to 8.30am
Cairns - Homelessness Service Hub
149-153 Bunda Street, Cairns
Phone: 4046 8050
Tuesday
(by appointment)

9.00am to 11.00am
Cairns - Mission Australia
38 Sturt Street, Bungalow
Phone: 4051 6560
Wednesday
(by appointment)
Various times
Toowoomba - The Basement
10 Neil Street, Toowoomba
Phone: 4638 2399
Wednesday
(drop-in)
11.00am to 12.30pm
Townsville - The Women's Centre
50 Patrick Street, Aitkenvale
Phone: 4775 7555
Monthly Tuesday
(by appointment)
9.00am to 12.00pm
Townsville - Homelessness Service Hub
Australian Red Cross, 12 Wickham Street, Townsville
Phone: 4753 0600
Wednesday
(drop-in)
11.00am to 12.30pm


HPLC success


Since December 2002, the HPLC has provided a targeted, necessary and meaningful contribution to the community by:

  • offering representation to over 4500 Queenslanders experiencing homelessness and addressing their complex, multiple legal needs;
  • providing over 3.5 million dollars worth of pro bono legal services and support to some of Queensland's most vulnerable people every year; and
  • contributing thousands of hours of pro bono legal work through casework, community legal education and research for and on behalf of people experiencing homelessness.

How the HPLC works


Painting by a former HPLC client

Given the complex range of pressures and issues confronting homeless people (including financial, social, psychological, medical, health issues and often multiple legal issues), civil law problems often go unaddressed unless services are appropriately located and delivered. On this basis, the HPLC operates at places where homeless people access other essential services, such as accomodation and case-management.

HPLC volunteer lawyers provide advice and representation in most areas of law, helping clients on an ongoing basis as required. The HPLC also provides active referrals if there is another agency better suited to meeting the needs of a particular client.

The HPLC uses an innovative tool called the "Legal Health Check" to investigate the totality of legal problems that a homeless person may have.

The HPLC actively seeks to identify gaps in the delivery of front-line legal services to homeless people and examine practical development issues.

The HPLC was independently evaluated in 2012. Read the report here:

Lawyers supporting the HPLC


The HPLC operates in partnership with a number of law firms and sole practitioners, working collaboratively to deliver targeted legal services to Queenslanders experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

Brisbane law firms

  • Allens
  • Ashurst
  • Clayton Utz
  • Herbert Smith Freehills
  • King & Wood Mallesons
  • McCullough Robertson
  • Minter Ellison
  • MurphySchmidt
  • Holding Redlich
  • HWL Ebsworth
  • DibbsBarker

Toowoomba lawyers

  • Catherine Cheek - Clewett Lawyers
  • Andrew Braithwaite - Hede Byrne & Hall
  • Kathy Walker - Walker Lawyers
  • Ken Parry - MacDonald Law Toowoomba
  • Paul Green - Kennedy Spanner Lawyers

Townsville lawyers

  • Crosby Brosnan & Creen
  • Connolly Suthers
  • Boulton Cleary Kern
  • Maurice Blackburn Lawyers
  • Strategic Lawyers

Continuing Legal Education


HPLC staff and volunteer lawyers are offered regular continuing legal education sessions in many areas of law, including debt, fines and tenancy, and in relation to practical legal skills. The HPLC also provides training to caseworkers in legal basics.

Coordination of the HPLC


QPILCH coordinates the HPLC with funding kindly provided by the Queensland Department of Justice and Attorney-General and the Australian Government Attorney-General's Department. We also thank the following organisations for providing the HPLC with grants:

  • StreetSmart Australia
  • Brisbane City Council
  • The Ian Potter Foundation
  • John William McIntyre & Herries Ada McIntyre Charitable Trust managed by Perpetual
  • Lady Bowen Trust
  • Legal Aid Queensland CLE Collaboration Fund

Other HPLCs in Australia