Funding would empower homeless outreach teams, “HOT teams,” comprised of law enforcement, medical, social welfare, and mental health professionals to make immediate decisions to get homeless individuals off the street and into programs
State Senator Brian W. Jones has sent a formal request to the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee to designate $150 million in the 2022-23 state budget to provide local law enforcement agencies with grants to send homeless outreach teams, also known as “wrap-around” teams, into the field.
In his request, Jones noted, “The homelessness crisis in California needs effective solutions that are compassionate and comprehensive. The funding request of $150 million is for a wrap-around service grant program that will immediately assess the needs of homeless individuals on the street and determine the best option for their housing and/or medical treatment.”
If approved, the budget request would help fund Jones’s Senate Bill 1006 that would establish a competitive grant program in the California Department of Justice in which local law enforcement agencies could apply for funding for local homeless outreach (wrap-around) team efforts.
These local teams would need to be composed of a law enforcement officer, a mental health professional, a medical services professional, and a representative of the county welfare department. The mental health and medical services team members could be volunteers associated with a non-profit or be students in the appropriate field of study.
SB 1006 is similar to Jones’s Senate Bill 1203 of 2020, which was part of his comprehensive six-bill package dealing with homelessness issues that was never allowed to come up for a hearing or vote by any Senate committees due to COVID restrictions.