The 61st District Court, Cooley Law School, Heartside Social Services, Community Legal Services of West Michigan and Heartside Neighborhood Collaboration Project (HNCP) have joined together to provide free legal services to marginalized individuals that have unresolved non-violent misdemeanors and civil infractions through the recently launched Community Outreach Court. The program, the first of its kind in West Michigan, helps individuals resolve outstanding warrants, charges, and fines, which can potentially keep them from attaining employment, housing, and other basic necessities.
HNCP seeks to create collaborations among all stakeholder groups by inviting them to craft win-win situation in order to help make the Heartside-Downtown a place where all people are welcome and respected. HNCP started this collaboration by reaching out to the 61st District Court and Cooley Law School seeking to fill a gap in the service of the court system, while also aiming to help those who may be caught in the system.
As of September 2014 the Community Outreach Court has conducted over one hundred record checks, eleven individuals have been accepted into the program, four individuals are pending acceptance and one individual has graduated from the program.
Click on the link below to learn more about the Community Outreach Court.