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Leon County Sheriff partners with Big Bend to address homelessness

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Posted at 5:04 PM, Jun 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-20 17:04:59-04

TALLAHASSEE, FLa. (WTXL) — The Leon County Sheriff's Office (LCSO) has partnered with Big Bend Continuum of Care to launch a new unit for homelessness in the area.

Due to the unit being approved for funding back in December 2021 by the Leon County Commission, The Homelessness Outreach Street Team (HOST) will provide unsheltered individuals with access to resources and implement community police strategies.

Reportedly, the HOST plans to assist the community with reducing impacts of homelessness by educating them on available local social services throughout Continuum of Care and other social service organizations.

"The expertise developed, in addition to the implementation of HOST, will undoubtedly help those individuals who are ready to accept services that will allow them to improve their lives and find permanent housing,” said Assistant Sheriff Argatha Gilmore.

HOST deputies also hopes to encourage homeless individuals to utilize the social services by offering them with assistance. Deputies are able to proceed with criminal enforcement if criminal activity results from the new unit.

HOST deputies have received specialized training by the Multi-Agency Homeless Taskforce of Broward County, Mental Health First AID, the Leon County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to learn how to manage mental health protocols and the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT).