REDONDO BEACH (CNS) - The Los Angeles County Superior Court's Homeless Court that serves Redondo Beach moved outside today, marking the first time it has been held anywhere other than a courthouse.
Cases will be heard monthly for the next year at a gated parking lot at 200 N. Pacific Coast Highway which is across the street from a church that serves a free lunch to the homeless community.
The move will allow people experiencing homelessness to appear in person to resolve misdemeanor charges and non-traffic infractions, along with having access to providers offering on-site services for mental health counseling, substance abuse treatment and housing placement, officials said.
Cases in the Homeless Court that serves the Redondo Beach area had previously been heard in a Torrance courtroom, with an additional Homeless Court at the Airport Courthouse in Los Angeles.
“The change of location of the Redondo Beach Homeless Court is crucial to countywide efforts to help people experiencing homelessness,'' Presiding Judge Kevin C. Brazile said in a statement released by the court. “It is imperative that this vulnerable population have access to justice and services at the same location.''
Homeless Court had been held once since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, officials said.
Judge Rene C. Gilbertson, who presides over the Homeless Court in Redondo Beach, called it a “wonderful project'' that “will be in the heart of the community where needed services and meals will be provided to the participating clients.''
The change in venue will greatly benefit the people who need help and will hopefully reduce some of the barriers the service providers face when assisting them,'' he added.
The move was made in partnership with the court system, city of Redondo Beach, the Los Angeles County Public Defender, Los Angeles County Alternate Public Defender, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and community partners.