RPD Collaborates With Other Agencies to Conduct “Saturation Engagement Day"
Multiple agencies collaborate to address issues of homelessness, mental illness, and substance abuse in Riverside.
Over the past few years, the Riverside Police Department’s Community Engagement Bureau had seen an increase in calls for services, livability issues, and concerns from community members regarding those experiencing homelessness and also struggling with mental illness and substance abuse. As part of an ongoing response to these concerns, the Riverside Police Department recently collaborated with Riverside University Health Systems’ (RUHS) Behavioral Health Department and other agencies to conduct “Saturation Engagement Day.”
Officers assigned to the City’s Public Safety Engagement Team, Community Behavior Assessment Team, and Problem Oriented Policing Team partnered with outreach workers, clinical therapists, substance abuse counselors, animal services officers, code enforcement officers, and housing support teams to address these livability issues with not only our homeless population, but also our community at large.
These teams of over 60 personnel from the various agencies checked 86 locations and contacted 186 homeless individuals. Of those, 49 people accepted services including three who were immediately placed into residential substance use treatment facilities, one teenager who was placed into a transitional living program, two people with medical issues who were provided emergency shelter, and one person who was admitted into an outpatient substance use treatment program. Those who were resistant to services will be engaged again in hopes they eventually accept assistance.
The purpose of Saturation Engagement Day was to assist our community’s vulnerable homeless population that are suffering from mental illness and substance abuse on both private and public property. It provided a larger opportunity to make contact, assess their needs, and offer them multiple resources to get them off the streets and into permanent supportive housing with wrap-around services.
Find more stories about the City of Riverside in the latest edition of Explore Magazine