Homeless Court

Homeless Court Program

Veterans Village of San Diego (VVSD) participates in the Homeless Court Program (HCP), which began in 1988 at the VVSD Stand Down 1988 event. Due to the overwhelming need of the indigent and overburdened court system, HCP fills a valuable community need. 

The Homeless Court Program provides the perfect partnership between the court, prosecutor, public defender and local service agencies to help resolve legal issues for the homeless population. HCP helps removes the obstacles that prevent homeless and indigent individuals from reintegrating back into the community addressing a broad spectrum of misdemeanor offenses including jaywalking, charges of being under the influence of a controlled substance, theft and driving under the influence. Misdemeanors with growing fees and fines become a hurdlethat many simply cannot overcome. 

HCP has been a tremendous success from the first Stand Down in 1988, where 116 homeless veterans stated that their greatest need was to resolve outstanding bench warrants. In the years following, from 1989 to 1992, HCP has resolved 4,895 cases for 942 homeless veterans. Because of the increased demand for the HCP, it has expanded from annual, to quarterly, and now monthly sessions. Today more than 10,000 individuals have participated in HCP and are moving towards reclaiming their lives of dignity and productivity.

HCP sentencing provides “credit for time served” for the participant’s accomplishments in shelter activities.  These activities include life-skills, chemical dependency or AA/NA meetings, computer and literacy classes, training or searching for employment, medical care (physical and mental), and counseling.  These activities replace the traditional court sentence options of fines, public work service, and custody.  The alternative sentencing structure is not coercive or punitive in nature, but rather designed to address the underlying causes of a person’s homelessness and recognize the person’s efforts to make changes to improve his or her life.


in order for a veterans village of san diego (vvsd client) to access the homeless court ptogram, thy must be actively participation in a vvsd program.
at a minimum, the client must:

• Have 60 days or more of active participation in our program

• Be referred to the HCP by their Case Manager/Counselor

• Be in compliance with their treatment plan if residing in residential
(attending all groups/classes, meeting, case management sessions and therapy if appropriate)

• Be mentally/emotionally stable to participate in the HCP

• Obtain an advocacy letter which highlights their participation in the their respective program

For more information regarding the Homeless Court Program