Recent media coverage by James Barragan of the Austin-American Statesman and Fox7 News provides a snapshot of the HOST program's progress since launching in June. The Homelessness Outreach Street Team, or HOST, is a collaborative initiative to address the needs of people living on the streets of downtown. Since June, the team has connected with 235 people and enrolled 38 individuals in coordinated assessment.
HOST is a partnership between the Police Department, Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services, Austin Travis County Integral Care and the Downtown Austin Alliance. The team walks the streets of downtown building relationships and connecting individuals to Front Steps, Salvation Army, Caritas of Austin, Trinity Center, ECHO, and other social service and support organizations.
The interdisciplinary outreach team includes two police officers, two behavioral health specialists, a paramedic, and an outreach social worker. The pilot program runs through September 30 using existing resources to determine the effectiveness of the program.
Watch Fox 7 News Story here.
Read Austin-American Statesman article by James Barragan here.