Street Outreach Court - Detroit is a collaborative project of the Michigan's 36th Judicial District Court designed to open the doors of justice to homeless people who have already demonstrated sincere and sustained effort to end their homelessness.


The 36th District Court’s Street Outreach Court – Detroit (“SOCD”) offers individuals who are homeless or at risk of homelessness the opportunity to resolve certain types of civil infractions and misdemeanors, including warrants, by crediting their personal ameliorative efforts to address the causes of their offending behaviors (such as job training, education, and alcohol and drug rehabilitation) towards their outstanding fines, costs, and/or jail time. This is a program that requires compliance with a comprehensive action plan before any relief is granted. Thus, all successful participants in SOCD have demonstrated sincere and sustained efforts to end their homelessness, efforts that merit the granting of relief.



The concept of homeless court was born of San Diego’s Stand Down program, a program to provide comprehensive services to veterans. There, they added an off-site “courtroom” to provide veterans the opportunity to address their outstanding legal issues. Then, in an effort to expand its scope and regularity, it morphed into a regular, monthly program of San Diego’s court.
The SOCD is a true example of a collaborative effort. In March 2011, the Detroit Action Commonwealth, a union of homeless persons (the “DAC”), visited the Ann Arbor Street Outreach Court. A month later, Street Democracy sent attorneys to the court to learn about the program. Judge Elizabeth Hines, founder of the Ann Arbor court, introduced the organizations to each other. The DAC led the organizational effort, by bringing to the table Judges Cylenthia LaToye Miller and Katherine Hansen, Magistrates Charles Anderson and Steve Lockhart, and Service Providers Neighborhood Legal Services Michigan, Capuchin Soup Kitchen, and St. Leo’s Soup Kitchen, and by chairing the collaborative’s meetings at the Capuchin Soup Kitchen. Meanwhile, Street Democracy focused on the development of the SOCD’s operational and logistical systems.
In June 2012, after 13 months of hard work, SOCD become the 23rd homeless court in the country. Uniquely, SOCD is the first such program to assist Participants in addressing outstanding warrants in other Michigan jurisdictions and to refer successful Participants to Bodman PLC for pro bono civil legal services.

How It Works


Get Started

Contact any of the Approved Service Providers to Get Started


Neighborhood Legal Services

313 964 1975

  • Jean Griggs (ext. 1206)
  • 7310 Woodward, Suite 701
    Detroit, Michigan 48202

St. Leo's Soup Kitchen

313 933 9344

  • Valgene Hill
  • 4860 15th St
    Detroit, Michigan 48208

Capuchin Soup Kitchen

313 925 1370

  • Denise Johnson (ext. 103)
  • 1264 Meldrum
    Detroit, Michigan 48207


For complete details regarding SOCD jurisdiction, eligibility, procedure, please see SOCD – Our Guidelines.


The Participants have put their blood, sweat, and tears into regaining control over their lives, facing the consequences of their past acts. The SOCD is proud to recognize the efforts of our Participants by sharing their stories and their hopes and dreams. For pictures of the Participants, please see our Facebook page.


SOCD - Image - Jonathan Porchia


Street Outreach Court – Detroit is a collaborative effort, requiring the efforts of many, many partners.

Government Officials

Kenneth J. King

Kenneth J. King

36th District Chief Judge

Krystal Crittendon

Krystal Crittendon

Attorney, Detroit Law Department

Kym Worthy

Kym Worthy

Wayne County Prosecutor

Benny Napoleon

Benny Napoleon

Wayne County Sheriff


Judges and Attorneys


Service Providers



Detroit Action Commonwealth

Detroit Action Commonwealth

Lead Organizer

Street Democracy

Street Democracy

Organizer for Legal Operations


We intend to constantly measure the program’s effectiveness at ending homelessness. The following statistics represent the best available data as of May 20, 2013.


LONG-TERM Impact on Participants- 6 MONTHS LATER


Number of Graduating Participants – 30

Percentage Stably Housed – 95%

Percentage with Stable Income – 82%

Percentage of Participants Who Have Not Committed a New Offense – 100%


Criminal Justice Administration Efficiencies


Average Number of Cases Per Participant – 5

Average Amount of Fines, Costs, and Penalties Per Participant – $1,315

From Adjudication of All Cases at One Time* – $12,500

From Reduction of Recidivism Rate^ – $31,500

Amount of Parking Settlement Agreements Entered – $2,725

Cost to Taxpayers – $0


* This is based on a study that estimated the cost of all parties of operating a court room to be $5,000 per day or approximately $125 per case.
^ This is based on a study (The Cost of Crime to Society: New Crime-Specific Estimates for Policy and Program Evaluation, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2835847/) that estimated the cost to the society for each new lower-level crime is $3500 per case (the societal cost of theft/larceny) and Michigan 2007 recidivism rate of 31.0%.


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