OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The City of Oklahoma City is giving homeless community members the opportunity to clear their outstanding municipal citations and fines in person at the Homeless Alliance.

The Oklahoma City Municipal Court is partnering with Crowe & Dunlevy, P.C., and the Homeless Alliance in providing a program that aims to remove barriers created by outstanding fines and citations, thereby making it easier for homeless residents to secure housing, employment and other assistance.

“This model has proven successful around the country,” said Councilman Mark Stonecipher, chair of the City’s Judiciary Committee. “One ticket often turns into a missed court date leading to a warrant for arrest, which can be scary and life altering. We want to do our part to help people who are experiencing homelessness move towards self-sufficiency.”

The city launched the Community Court Program administratively in October 2020. Court was held virtually.

Court will be conducted in-person for the first time at the Homeless Alliance Day Shelter, beginning July 2022.

The location is more accessible and less intimidating than the municipal courthouse, according to city officials.

Presiding Judge Philippa C. James will preside over court quarterly, and Aimee Majoue, an attorney with Crowe & Dunlevy, will represent individuals participating in the program.

“Watching people’s lives transform in this program tells me that our City is truly invested in its people,” said Aimee Majoue, attorney with Crowe and Dunlevy. “I have watched numerous individuals who were floating in and out of jail, on and off their medications, and down on their ‘luck’ embrace this opportunity and exit the program with housing, a job and reconnections with family members. Community Court provides our neighbors an avenue to become more fully active members of our community.”

Homeless residents who have a case with Oklahoma City Municipal Court can contact the Community Outreach Program by calling (405) 297-3267 to see if their case is eligible for the program.

“People who appear in-person to address their case will not be put in jail,” city officials said.