Due to living their lives in public places, people experiencing homelessness are more vulnerable to interactions with police and enforcement officers, and are at a greater risk of being fined or charged. Since Justice Connect’s Homeless Law service started in 2001, fines and charges for poverty-related offences, including being drunk in public, begging and conduct on public transport, have remained a key area of legal need for homeless or at risk Victorians.
Over 116,000 Australians will experience homelessness tonight
As Victoria’s specialist free legal service for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness, Justice Connect has spent 20 years holistically helping Victorians with poverty-related fines and charges, and we know that enforcement-based responses to homelessness don’t work.
Relying on the justice system to respond to homelessness entrenches disadvantage, compounds housing insecurity and creates a further burden on an already stretched justice system.
Are you experiencing homelessness or at risk of experiencing homelessness? We can provide ongoing legal support on some areas of law.Apply now
Takes less than 8 minutes
(4.4 star rating)
As part of our strategy to help prevent the criminalisation of homelessness, we share what we’ve learned from our work in submissions to Royal Commissions and provide recommendations to governments.
Read Maggie's story
"When you’re not in the right frame of mind, you let the system beat you."