Homeless court discussed at Stetson Law

04/15/08 Seán Kinane
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This afternoon at the Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport, the co-founder of the country’s first Homeless Court addressed students about how they can help their communities after graduation.

Steve Binder is a deputy public defender in San Diego. He said Homeless Court is a special session of the superior court in San Diego that is held at local homeless shelters. Local advocates are considering instituting a Homeless Court in Pinellas County.

George Bolden is the grants and accountability coordinator with the Pinellas County Coalition for the Homeless. Bolden said a group met Tuesday morning with Binder to get his experience with founding the San Diego Homeless Court.

The idea of a Pinellas Homeless Court is still in discussion phase, but Bolden said that everyone who participated was excited about the possibilities and discussions will continue.

Stetson Law professor Kristen Adams is the chair of the Florida Bar's Public Interest Law Section Homelessness Committee and participated in the meeting.

If Pinellas County created a Homeless Court, there would be many advantages to the community, according to Steve Binder.

With more than 200 Stetson University Law students graduating next month, one purpose of this panel was to show them they had career options where they can help their communities, including in homeless advocacy. The panel was organized in part by Stetson Law's chapter of the ABA Law Student Division.

Casey Trupin, an attorney at Columbia Legal Services in Seattle and chairs the American Bar Association’s Commission on Homelessness and Poverty, also participated in the Stetson program. In 1997, he co-founded Street Youth Legal Advocates of Washington.

Photo courtesy Brandi Palmer/Stetson University College of Law.

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Stetson University College of Law

Gulfcoast Legal Services

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