Community Court launched September 2, with excellent collaboration between community social service providers and local volunteers. The program supports community members who have committed offenses or are in need of a more structured, supportive environment providing a helping hand to aid them in getting back on their feet.
Community Court provides service providers a chance to meet one-on-one with people in need. A wide range of services, including food boxes, clothing, medical, dental and vision assessments, housing, substance abuse and mental health treatment are available to participants. Program participants have come to Community Court through a variety of routes, including citations through the justice system, referrals from LTD in lieu of citations, and walk-ins who were curious or heard about the court through word-of-mouth. Participants have cleared warrants, connected with needed services and performed community service.
“Service providers have been enthusiastic to be involved and participants have been equally appreciative,” says Cheryl Stone, Court Administrator. “We anticipate our first graduate will be ready on October 7th – he embraced the program and has taken advantage of all the services available to him. His mom came with him at his first appearance and signed up as a volunteer after the first week. They are both so thankful for this opportunity and the accountability of the program. Each person’s story is unique, but all those involved are very happy for the connection to services and the individualized approach.”
So far the program has four volunteers who assist with greeting, navigation, check-in and introductions to service providers. These volunteers have played a critical role and additional volunteers will be needed to expand the program.
For more information, check out the Community Court webpage.