Design, Technology, and Innovation Projects

Team Structure

The Homelessness Outreach Street Team (HOST) brings together the expertise of two police officers, three behavioral health specialists, a community health paramedic, and an outreach social worker. Their job is to help bridge the gaps between social services and safety where hard-to-reach populations get stuck in the revolving door of emergency shelters, justice systems, and emergency services.

Modeled after similar successful programs in other cities across the U.S., HOST will be proactively deployed on the streets. The Austin Police Department (APD), Austin-Travis County Integral Care (ATCIC), Austin/Travis County Emergency Medical Services (EMS), Downtown Austin Community Court, and Downtown Austin Alliance are sponsoring HOST within existing resources to test the effectiveness of the approach.

We must address peoples’ needs with appropriate resources before they reach a state of crisis and before they violate laws or ordinances that typically result in admission to a hospital emergency room or emergency psychiatric facility, an arrest or issuance of a citation. We anticipate that the program will result in fewer EMS transports, reduced emergency room use, fewer jail bookings, and increases in case management, social service provision, enrollments in coordinated assessment, and opportunities for permanent supportive housing.

Collaboration Across Sectors

HOST will connect with Front Steps, Salvation Army, Caritas of Austin, Trinity Center, Downtown Austin Community Court and others who provide clients with essential emergency/social services, and the Ending Community Homelessness Coalition (ECHO) who provides permanent supportive housing through its local housing network.

Team Formation

There will be three groups:

  1. The Core Team
  2. The Liaison Team
  3. The Executive Team

To be drafted…