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San Mateo County Homeless Program Expands to Pacifica

$300K in Measure A funds will be used to increase the services of the Homeless Outreach Team, a collaborative, countywide program to address issues associated with chronic homelessness.

Patch file image
Patch file image

The Homeless Outreach Team (HOT), a countywide program to address chronic homelessness, has initiated operations in the Coastside area. 

Developed by local housing shelter provider, InnVision Shelter Network, in collaboration with a diverse range of local stakeholder groups, the HOT seeks to engage only the most difficult to serve homeless individuals, many of whom are suffering from addiction and other debilitating mental illnesses.

As part of its Coastside expansion, the HOT added one full-time outreach professional for the cities of Pacifica and Half Moon Bay, as well as part-time staff for the surrounding areas. The service extension is the result of the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors’ decision in September to allocate $300,000 in Measure A funds to increase the program’s network. 

The program works in conjunction with the Pacifica Police Department and the Pacifica Resource Center staff to identify the target homeless population to be served by the local HOT Team. 

Law enforcement reviews complaint and arrest records, and consults with the local hospitals and the health department to identify homeless persons who generate the most community complaints, have extensive arrest records, use City of Pacifica resources, and cost the County the most in health care services. Only these most challenging persons are accepted as potential participants.  

The ultimate goal of the HOT program is to give these individuals the resources they need to get housing and to become self-sufficient.

The City of San Mateo, Redwood City and East Palo Alto have successfully utilized the HOT model to house the chronically homeless people and dramatically reduce medical and law enforcement costs associated with the individuals in the program.

HOT performs outreach to persons who are the target of the most merchant and residential complaints to law enforcement, and the heaviest users of county emergency rooms for medical care. The HOT Team works to engage and develop a working rapport with chronically homeless persons and link them to medical and behavioral health services, and ultimately to housing.  Outreach staff meets with homeless persons where they live, including homeless encampments, transportation corridors and in parks and creekbeds, and other places where homeless reside. 

Once engaged, small incentives may be utilized to help develop trust and to encourage persons living on the streets to follow through with appointments.   New socks or underwear, small gift cards, or hygiene kits may be provided. 

 

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