Home Nonviolent defense Pilot Unarmed Homeless Response Program Expands Beyond Hollywood, Venice – CBS Los...

Pilot Unarmed Homeless Response Program Expands Beyond Hollywood, Venice – CBS Los Angeles

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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Unarmed outreach teams and trained responders will now be dispatched to respond to roaming-related 911 calls as part of a pilot program called CIRCLE – Crisis and Incident Response through Community-Led Engagement.

The LAPD receives 140,000 calls related to the homeless per year, according to Mayor Eric Garcetti. As part of the CIRCLE program, law enforcement officers will no longer be dispatched to 911 calls reporting non-violent homeless people.

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“At the heart of our CIRCLE pilot project is a truth: we know that sending someone with a badge can sometimes be helpful, but it is not the solution to homelessness,” said Garcetti.

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Each CIRCLE team is made up of an outreach worker, a certified mental health or behavioral health clinician and a community ambassador, in order to create a link with the homeless community, to carry out light sanitation work, defuse situations as they arise, and refer people to local service providers. These teams have already been put to work in Venice and Hollywood during the summer, but starting in December, they will be available 24/7 to intervene throughout the city of Los Angeles.

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Billion dollar program was included in Garcetti’s ‘justice budget’ for fiscal year 2021-22 and represents the city’s biggest investment to address the homelessness crisis to date , according to city officials.