For the past several months, my office has been working to develop a tool that will help LAPD HOPE officers as they work to connect those experiencing homelessness with services that can set them on the process of recovery. Often times, addiction or lack of treatment for mental illness is the primary obstacle for individuals to get their life on track. Unfortunately, HOPE officers don't have the necessary tools to help these individuals when professional treatment is what is needed. What's more, locating and accessing services that can help is a very complicated process.
That is why my office has partnered with Get Help. Get Help is a local tech company that is working to simplify the process of accessing various, detox, mental health, and shelter services by creating an smartphone app that puts all the necessary information in one place. My office developed a pilot version that could be used by our HOPE officers in the field.
I'm proud to announce that the first pilot downloads began this week with officers in the field testing the app. Results were immediately promising with one individual agreeing to access detox services after the officers were able to confirm that a nearby facility had availability.
Having officers able to quickly locate services when an individual is willing to accept them is key. There are few instances more frustrating for both officers and those experiencing homelessness than when an individual is open to receiving treatment or assistance but the officer is unable to make the connection due to bureaucratic difficulty.
With Get Help being used and expanded among our HOPE Teams, we hope to convert such instances of frustration into the moment when a life is turned around.