Outreach services are critical in terms of identifying those in need of assistance and directing them to the appropriate services. The City, funded in part by the County of San Diego, has two award-winning and nationally-recognized programs that address the chronically homeless, substance dependent and/or mentally ill needs predominantly in the downtown area. They are the Homeless Outreach Team (HOT) and the Serial Inebriate Program (SIP). HOT works Monday through Friday during the hours of 5 a.m. and 3 p.m. within the City's downtown, mid-city and beach areas. Interested individuals may contact HOT at (619) 446-1010 or [email protected].
Homeless Outreach Team (HOT)
The City's Homeless Outreach Team (HOT) conducts street canvassing to reach out to chronically homeless persons. In the HOT program, San Diego Police officers patrol with County of San Diego Health and Human Service specialists and Psychiatric Emergency Response Team (PERT) clinicians to contact and work with the City's chronic homeless population. The team engages with homeless persons on the streets and facilitates placements into many local homeless service providers. In operation since 2001, HOT provides outreach and engagement services throughout the City, and is the City's initial point of contact with both chronic homeless and chronic inebriates living on the streets.
The year-round Interim Housing Facility for Homeless Adults has at least 50 shelter beds reserved to be used as "entry points." These beds are filled in coordination with the San Diego Housing Commission and the HOT program.
Serial Inebriate Program (SIP)
The Serial Inebriate Program (SIP) is an innovative program founded in January 2000. It was initiated as a problem-solving effort to reduce the revolving door wherein chronic, homeless alcoholics go in and out of detoxification centers, county jails, and local hospital emergency rooms. This partnership brings together the justice system, police and sheriff's departments, emergency medical services, health and human services, and treatment providers with a unified strategy to reduce the use of costly public resources by providing homeless serial inebriates a diversion from the streets and jail to housing and treatment programs with intensive case management.
The SIP conducts outreach on the streets and in jails to chronically homeless individuals charged with public intoxication. Once the case comes before court, the person charged is given the choice between incarceration and a recovery program. The SIP team works with those who choose recovery to access services and achieve sobriety. Most of the clients have multiple issues, which may include addictions to multiple substances, mental and physical health issues, and cognitive and behavioral issues. Now a national model, the City's SIP program funds 20 beds with case management and treatment funded by the County of San Diego.