Un-arresting away homelessness in your community through the development of a homeless outreach team is one of the hottest trends in policing today. If your agency continues to struggle with more questions than answers about effective responses to homelessness, consider the top 10 reasons why you should start a homeless outreach team.
Homelessness is expensive. Each chronically homeless person on the streets of your community consumes up to $30,000 annually in public resources (such as jail stays and emergency room visits).
Homeless outreach teams combine the best elements of problem-oriented policing, intelligence-led policing, and community-oriented policing. By breaking the “homeless circle of life” through police homeless outreach, your agency can:
- Solve the problem, not the symptoms;
- Reduce the demand upon public services by high-need, high-utilizer clients;
- Reduce arrest and incarceration rates;
- Reduce your risk of costly litigation; and
- Reduce citizen complaints and calls for service.