In San Mateo County, California, the number of homeless individuals is a very real struggle for local officials. In fact, according to the 2014 Annual Homeless Assessment Report, they are among the top 10 Continuums of Care with the Largest Numbers of Homeless people nationwide.
A March 10th article in the San Francisco Examiner highlights the efforts of special Homeless Outreach Teams in San Mateo to improve the health and welfare of chronically homeless individuals in their community who may be a danger to themselves. There are five teams in San Mateo County and each team is a partnership between city, county, and nonprofit agencies that work together to address the social determinants of health, including stable housing, food, and mental and physical health services.
One success story cited in the article is regarding a mentally ill homeless woman with declining health. San Mateo officer David Johnson knew she needed help but in the past he was not able to build a case for the court to order her into treatment. The break in his case came from the county’s use of case management. San Mateo Chief of Police Susan Manheimer said “case management is a key innovation in how the team operates, because instead of isolated, complaint-driven police contacts with homeless people, there is institutional memory, allowing team members to track individual’s health over time.” Officer Johnson was able to use case management to document her issues over time and build up a case for court-ordered placement in a care facility. She is now well taken care of and in good spirits.
This article is one of many examples of how health and social service providers are working together to address social issues to improve population health. ClientTrack Case Management has a long history helping organizations serve a broad variety of community needs, including housing/homeless services, behavioral health, chronic conditions, and food and economic security.