Christopher Stender: San Diego’s Homeless Outreach Team
San Diego, California, immigration attorney Christopher Stender gives generously of his time and effort to charitable groups, including the city’s Homeless Outreach Team (HOT). These teams, consisting of a police officer, county psychiatrists and eligibility technicians, go into the streets and find people who are habitually homeless and/or chronically alcoholic. The San Diego Police Department and Community Services provides funding for HOT law enforcement personnel.
Teams treat each person as an individual. They assess problems, such as deficits in job training, psychological issues, history of drug abuse, and loss of income. The teams advocate for immediate and long-term solutions for the 700 people they see each year.
HOT acts as a referral agency, linking people in the street with housing opportunities and other services, such as the Serial Inebriate Program (SIP). Working in partnership, SIP begins with people who have been arrested for public intoxication and provides substance abuse intervention as an alternative to being jailed.