SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - The city of Sarasota is marking its six-month anniversary of the first homeless court in the state.
The program tries to help address the root causes of chronic homelessness, known as community care court. These cases are limited to homeless people charged with minor criminal activity in the city, such as open container, trespassing, lodging out of doors, and public urination.
Those who volunteer to opt into the program may be diverted into social service programs for mental health screening, drug and alcohol assessment, employment and housing opportunities.
Since the community care court began in January, 21 people voluntarily entered the program and five successfully graduated with the criminal charges dismissed.