History, Process, & Success

History: Inspired by Homeless Veterans

stand_downAt the conclusion of the first Stand Down, 116 of 500 homeless veterans stated that their greatest need was to resolve outstanding bench warrants. The next year, the San Diego Superior Court set up a special court to hear misdemeanor cases at Stand Down. Because of the increased demand for the service, the HCP expanded from annual, to quarterly, and now to monthly sessions available to the general homeless population.

Monthly Calendar


Participants sign up for court through their homeless-service agency. The agency submits to the Office of the Primary Public Defender the list of participants who have requested court access.


The court and prosecution prepare cases on the list for the next scheduled Homeless Court.


The assigned defense attorney meets with each participant one week before the court hearing to review and prepare the case.


Court personnel travel to the homeless service agency for an official hearing of participants’ cases.

Documented Success

  • Nearly 2000 participants resolved more than 7000 cases in the HCP from 2009 to 2012.
  • The participants voluntarily spent an average of 291 days in the program activities before appearing in the HCP from 2009-2012.
  • The average appearance rate of participants increased to 91.58% in 2012 from 75.97% in 2009.
  • The Stand Down event helped 706 homeless veterans resolve 2,941 cases from 2008 to 2012.