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Posted on: July 27, 2018

County Homeless Outreach Efforts

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Nevada County provides homeless outreach through Nevada County Behavioral Health, but also provides funds to community partner organizations for homeless outreach activities, recognizing that these efforts are better together.

Although the County’s Navigation Center has run into initial delays in finding a location in alignment with our City partners, the County's Housing Resource Manager has established a multi-disciplinary Homeless Outreach Team (HOT) to help identify and connect homeless residents to services. HOT brings together services providers such as FREED Center for Independent Living, Community's Beyond Violence, Hospitality House, Turning Point, law enforcement, Probation, and elements of the court system in order to better coordinate outreach activities. Law enforcement works with the team to mitigate camping activities and adverse impacts, identifies individuals who need services and have high levels of contact with law enforcement, coordinates with the jail to develop re-entry plans for people experiencing homeless, and works with the court system to incentivize treatment and stability over incarceration. The team started meeting in May and is moving forward with plans to better capture data and information about encampments, service needs, and barriers to receiving those services. The team is working to coordinate outreach activities that can rapidly connect those who are ready to engage the services that can get them off the street and into housing. Working together, HOT is maximizing county and nonprofit investment in outreach, building the teams capacity to efficiently serve those in need, and working to coordinate outreach to property owners, businesses and community members who have concerns about homelessness.

Through the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA), Nevada County Behavioral Health funds a full-time outreach worker at Hospitality House, who engages up to 30 individuals per week experiencing homelessness on the street, in camps and cars, and in remote areas like North San Juan. Additionally, MHSA funds Turning Point Community Programs, who provides a wealth of services targeted towards homeless individuals, including two case managers stationed at Hospitality House, eight Care Coordinators who will perform outreach, 24/7 if needed, to find and engage individuals who have come to Turning Point's attention. Personal Service Coordinators provide individualized services and interventions; one of the Personal Service Coordinators serves as a Forensic Liaison and focuses primarily on homeless outreach for persons involved in the criminal justice system. MHSA also funds a full time homeless outreach worker in Truckee through Project Mana.

Finally, both Adult Protective Services and Child Protective Services frequently outreach to individuals experiencing homelessness through case referrals, and engage these individuals as necessary to ensure safety for the families, the community, and linkage to services.

For more information on the County's homelessness initiatives, visit the Better Together website.

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