For Immediate Release
Sergeant Simon Brown
Yesterday the Sheriff’s Office Homeless Outreach Team (HOT) received the California State Association of Counties (CSAC) Challenge award. CSAC’s annual statewide program honors innovation and best practices in county government. This year, CSAC received 284 entries – the second largest number in the program’s history. HOT was 1 of 16 others chosen to receive this prestigious award.
Since HOT’s inception, they have worked to perform an evaluation of the county’s homeless population and identified various opportunities that could break the cycle of homelessness. Their efforts include interacting on an individual level, building relationships and offering services, while overcoming the barrier between homeless and law enforcement officers.
The most significant challenge HOT faced were the limited resources within the county and the need to provide transportation to and from various services and/or programs for multiple individuals. This obligation of time was also detrimental to HOT’s commitment of maintaining personal contact in the field. It was determined that a more global approach was needed to connect the homeless with the multitude of services necessary to break the cycle of homelessness. HOT’s solution was to develop a system that delivered all involved service providers directly to the homeless population.
HOT made the decision to build a mobile outreach trailer that would provide a foundation for the various service providers to work remotely in the field. The development of this Global Outreach Initiative has fostered many relationships throughout the county, including Placerville Police Department’s integration with the Homeless Outreach Team. Together, we are working to establish a long term, sustainable model that addresses the needs of the homeless where they live and provide lasting solutions for this vulnerable population.