By Cathy Carter
Helping homeless people get back on their feet is the goal of a new specialized court in Sarasota. Known as ‘Community Care Court,’ the cases are limited to homeless people charged with non-violent misdemeanors, such as trespassing or possessing an open container of alcohol. The court does not sentence the defendants, but instead recommends resources for rehabilitation and sometimes requires them to check back in on their progress over the course of several hearings. Kevin Stiff, the Coordinator of Homelessness Response for the City of Sarasota says the court helps homeless individuals navigate the legal system and connects them to programs that can help.