lawyers working with the poor and the ignored to end poverty and implement the demands of justice
TO CREATE A WORLD WHERE EVERYONE'S VOICE IS HEARD AND NO ONE IS LEFT BEHIND
We started Street Democracy to bring legal services to the homeless wherever they are.
We realized that legal issues are not the only bars jailing our clients, that unless we addressed underlying causes of their poverty, we were merely performing legal triage. We needed to work smarter.
By partnering with social service agencies, we can provide coordinated human and legal services to make our clients’ progress permanent.
Guided by our clients’ experiences, we advocate for systemic reforms that promote the equitable administration of governance.
IN 2010, STREET DEMOCRACY LED AN EFFORT TO ESTABLISH STREET OUTREACH COURT DETROIT, AN INNOVATIVE COURT THAT VALUES PARTICIPANTS' EFFORTS TO ADDRESS THE ROOT CAUSES OF THEIR HOMELESSNESS.
In 2016, Street Democracy launched a partnership with Volunteers of America Michigan to provide coordinated human and legal services to rapidly re-house homeless veteran families or, as we affectionately call this work, Defending Our Defenders.
“People always tell me, 'Thank you for your service,' but I want to thank you for your service.” - Wyatt S.
evidence-based advocacy projects to acheive equitable access to the levers of government
SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER
OUR CLIENTS MECCA, DENNIS, AND LESIA TESTIFIED AT THE MICHIGAN SUPREME COURT TO HELP END PAY-OR-STAY SENTENCING. LISTEN TO THE TESTIMONY THAT THE JUSTICES LEANED IN TO HEAR.
OUR CURRENT ADVOCACY PROJECTS
COURT RULE AMENDMENT
A proposal to require that all tenants in eviction cases be served with a locally-developed "Rights & Resources" page
A pilot project in Hamtramck incorporating rehabilitative principles into alternative sentences
A survey of Detroit-area district courts to identify potential procedural and sentencing irregularities
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CHARLES D HOBBSSenior Staff Attorney
Charles directs our legal services programs. He spends his spare time representing K-12 kids at expulsion hearings or on his board.
AMINA KIRKLaw Clerk
After a year as a housing advocate in South Africa, Amina came back to Michigan to head our Court Watch project.
JAYESH PATELPresident & Director
Jayesh leads our advocacy projects, manages the team, and faces constant ridicule from his family and friends for his undying commitment to the uniform.