The Homeless Outreach Team (HOT) together with the Psychiatric Emergency Response Team (PERT) provide outreach and engagement services throughout the City of San Diego. They are the City's initial point of contact with both chronic homeless and chronic inebriates living on the streets. Each HOT Team is composed of police officers, County psychiatric clinicians and County Mental Health eligibility technicians. The Teams seek out and engage chronically homeless persons and, for those who are willing, place them in housing linked with appropriate services. The San Diego Police Department, along with Community Services provide direct financial support by funding the law enforcement officers in this program.
The Serial Inebriate Program (SIP) is offered to chronically homeless, substance dependent people who have been arrested. Each of these programs offers offenders an opportunity to participate in treatment, sober-living environments as an alternative to incarceration as well as access to emergency room care, transitional housing or long-term care.
Teams work together to assess the homeless person's problems, and identify how to help them from a range of solutions. Whether their homelessness has been caused by loss of income, psychological problems, substance abuse, lack of job training, or other problems, multiple options are available to assist each person. This approach not only provides short-term answers but also develops permanent solutions.
The teams provide care, resources and assistance to approximately 700 individuals per year.