San Francisco launches street crisis team to respond to 911 mental health, addiction calls

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- San Francisco launched its first Street Crisis Response Team Monday that will respond to mental health and addiction-related 911 calls in the city.

The pilot program is one of city's efforts to provide better support to those experiencing homelessness, suffering from mental health or addiction issues.

"The goal of this pilot program is to meet people in distress with the right services and professionals who can get them the help they need," Mayor London Breed said in a tweet.

The program is designed to "reduce law enforcement responses to non-violent activity," letting police focus on public safety.

The team includes a behavioral health clinician, peer specialist, medical professional as well as the San Francisco Fire Department. The team will assess each situation on case-by-case basis before connecting clients with behavioral health support, on-scene counseling or ambulance transport.

The first group launched Monday focuses on calls in the Tenderloin, District 6 supervisor Matt Haney tweeted. They will be dispatched by 911 calls initially to respond to non-violent calls between 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.

The city plans on expanding to six teams in the coming months providing 24/7 support throughout San Francisco.
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