SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – The city of San Luis Obispo recently put its new Mobile Crisis Unit into use in an attempt to help prevent and reduce chronic homelessness throughout the city.
The Mobile Crisis Unit pairs a mental health case worker with a fire department emergency medical technician to respond to non-emergency calls, including from people suffering from mental health challenges, addiction, and homelessness.
Over just one week in June, the unit contacted 33 people, was dispatched to 15 calls for service, and helped de-escalate eight mental health crises, according to city officials.
“We are excited to begin offering this new service to meet the needs of our community,” Fire Chief Keith Aggson said.
“The Mobile Crisis Unit is available to all who are suffering from a crisis and is expected to be most frequently used by our most vulnerable and unhoused community members. Connecting these individuals to the appropriate resources is an important step in improving their situation.”
The Mobile Crisis Unit pilot program offers new crisis support services, including assessments, case management, rehabilitation services, and crisis management, to anyone in the city.
It is available through the city's non-emergency dispatch line by calling 805-781-7312 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.
However, city officials noted that the fire department may adjust those hours to best meet the needs of the community.
The city anticipates spending upwards of $300,000 this fiscal year on the pilot program, which runs through June 2023.
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