Crisis and Homeless Intervention Strategies: Paths to Progress and Understanding

Webinar date October 7, 2020 2:00 pm
Password: 790126
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Across the country, the coronavirus pandemic has exposed the depth and severity of the nation’s homelessness crisis. As first responders, law enforcement officers are frequently dispatched to address situations involving homelessness-related health emergencies or public safety challenges. Lack of access to regular care for mental and physical health conditions, as well as substance use disorders among people who are homeless, can lead to frequent 911 calls and law enforcement interactions. Left with few options but to arrest, disperse, or issue a citation, many officers experience frustration at what amounts to a revolving door between homelessness and the criminal justice system—a cycle that disproportionately affects people of color. Collaboration between law enforcement and community homelessness services is needed to better address the core issues at hand. This panel discussion is intended to discuss these collaborative efforts and gain an understanding of unsheltered homelessness while working to reduce related contact with the criminal justice system. Moderator: Habsi Kaba, Director of Crisis Intervention Teams, Miami-Dade County (FL) Police Department, Police Mental Health Collaboration Panelists: Aaron Dahl, Sergeant, Vacaville (CA) Police Department Eric Weaver, Executive Director, Overcoming the Darkness, LLC Borinquen (Bo) Hall, Homeless Liaison Specialist, Miami Beach (FL) Police Department Homeless Resource Unit Michael L. Ferrell, Executive Director, The Coalition for the Homeless