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New homeless outreach program in Pleasant Hill

Feb 27, 2017 08:52AM ● Published by Elena Hutslar

New homeless outreach program beginning soon in Pleasant Hill

The city will soon partner with the City of Martinez and Contra Costa County Health Services (CCHS) to create a new homeless outreach program in Pleasant Hill. The program, known as Coordinated Outreach, Referral, and Engagement, or CORE, involves teams of outreach specialists who will engage with homeless persons in Pleasant Hill and Martinez. CORE teams will work to establish relationships through regular visits to camps and shelters, and serve as a point of contact for many social services.  CORE teams will strive to connect clients to shelter, medical and mental health care, case managers, substance abuse treatment and services, benefit counselors, housing, and other services. 

A 2016 count showed that about 1,100 county residents are without shelter on any given night.  In many cases, these individuals have mental health issues, drug and alcohol addictions, and have been subject to domestic abuse.  The Pleasant Hill Police Department responds to approximately 200 calls each month related to members of homeless community.  Homelessness presents complex issues not easily addressed through enforcement efforts. The Police Department hopes this new partnership with the Martinez Police Department and CCHS will result in long-term solutions. 

Last month, both the Pleasant Hill and Martinez City Councils approved a plan to split the annual cost of a full-time CORE team through the end of the 2017-18 fiscal year. Pleasant Hill’s annual cost to implement the program is approximately $55,000, which will be paid from grant funds. 

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