Addressing Homelessness: PBSO comes to Indy streets

Post By Matt Holland, Homeless Initiative Program

HealthNet’s Homeless Initiative Program is proud to be part of the newly recognized Professional Blended Street Outreach (PBSO) teams representing 15 social service agencies (including three medical providers and two mental health care providers) recently co-located to the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department’s Southwest District Headquarters on King Ave., near W. Michigan St. and N. Belmont Avenue. 

As part of this collaboration, outreach extends also onto the Indy Go bus system and on bicycle patrol.  This team is able to provide many different services and options to those needing services but also continue to form solid relationships with those on the street so that positive steps may be available for those who may not be ready for those at the moment.

This allows better response times for those who are experiencing mental or medical issues on the street and provides for shared information between social service agencies and police.  As a result, we are getting people access to mental health and medical services on the street and working with them significantly earlier to begin the process to get into housing and the additional medical supports they need. 

The PSBO Team supports police officers directly by diverting persons who are homeless (or not a threat) into programs that help with medication and mental/physical health issues.  Camps are areas not generally frequented by or easily accessible to police/fire/EMS support. The PSBO Team provides basic lifesaving healthcare as well as general hygiene materials for those who might not otherwise reach it. 

The PBSO Team has been able to streamline and partner with other City agencies to utilize funds that support mental health and healthcare treatment.  There have been limited efforts previously to expand access and find points of overlap, particularly where services were being provided independently of each other (such as housing, homeless prevention and intervention training, mental health and substance abuse resources, etc.).

When the PSBO Team members working, they will wear a clip-on credential which contains their photograph, name, and a logo.  The PSBO Team is made up of professionals from the following organizations.

  • HealthNet Homeless Initiative Program
  • Indianapolis EMS
  • Adult & Child Mental Health
  • Damien Center
  • Indiana Department of Corrections Parole District #3
  • Horizon House
  • Humane Society of Indianapolis
  • Eskenazi Health
  • Midtown Community Mental Health
  • Marion  County Probation
  • The PourHouse, Inc.
  • Salvation Army
  • Wheeler Mission
  • Tear Down the Walls Ministries
  • IMPD’s Homeless Unit Officers

Watch for updates on our blog as the team gets under way!

To learn more about HealthNet’s Homeless Initiative Program, visit http://www.indyhealthnet.org/Homeless-Initiative-Program.

 

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