As reported on KVMR on Dec. 6.:
The Expanded Street Outreach program “meets people where they are” and interfaces with local businesses. Three Community Liaison positions have been added, supervised by the outreach case manager. While two Community Liaisons walk the Brunswick Basin and other parts of Grass Valley on foot, the other Community Liaison drives a van, providing access to services and support in other areas, such as downtown Grass Valley and Nevada City. The van provides transportation for homeless people to services like Behavioral Health, Spirit Peer Empowerment, Nevada County Social Services, One Stop job readiness, legal counsel and AA meetings.
As of October, Hospitality House has four staff working with people on the street. Between October and November, our outreach team has:
- Helped 107 unique individuals on the street and in camps
- Provided 441 services
- Gave 190 referrals to service providers
- Gave 265 rides to appointments and other locations.
- Part of their work is also education on fire safety and mitigation and clearing debris that could cause fires
This program was developed to help people like Nick. Our outreach team found him in a field… Nick had a severe alcohol problem and was experiencing homelessness. Our outreach team engaged him and on another day, he agreed to come with us to Social Services. However, on the day we took him there, Nick was intoxicated and while our team was inside the building arranging services, Nick took some pills and overdosed outside. HE ALMOST DIED. Our case manager returned to find him unconscious and rushed him to the ER where his stomach was pumped, and luckily, Nick survived.
BOTTOM LINE—HE SAVED NICK’S LIFE AND THAT MORE THAN ANYTHING IS WHY THIS PROGRAM EXISTS AND WHY THIS PROGRAM IS CRUCIAL TO OUR COMMUNITY.
In the weeks that followed, we built a strong rapport with Nick and he trusted us to help him. Our outreach team was able to get him to agree to try to stop drinking and shelter at Hospitality House. While a guest at Hospitality House, Nick started working with our Case Management Team. He was connected to Behavioral Health where he was diagnosed with a severe mental illness. Nick was prescribed the necessary medication to help him cope with his condition and to keep him from self-medicating with alcohol.
I am happy to report that today Nick is sober and we believe in no small part that we had something to do with it. Nick gained access to a County-funded program and now lives in a permanent residence with roommates.
Nick is a perfect example of what can happen when a person has access to services, some hope, and a little bit of trust and willingness. Our team is full of loving arms and if there is a will, there is a way.
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