Many Continuum's of Care (CoC) across the U.S., leverage partnerships with local law enforcement agencies to conduct street outreach to persons who are experiencing homelessness. This effort, often referred to as Homeless Outreach Teams or HOT Teams, has many models.
In Lee County, HOT teams are referred to a Housing, Outreach, and Treatment Teams to encapsulate the scope of services being provided. These teams are possible through collaboration between Lee County, Centerstone, and local law enforcement, including Lee County Sherriff's Office, Cape Coral Police Department, Fort Myers Police Department, Sanibel Police Department, Lee County Port Authority and Florida Gulf Coast University Police Department.
Lee County's HOT Teams consist of a law enforcement officer and behavioral health professional. Teams conduct street outreach to persons experiencing homelessness, with the main goal of connecting individuals and families to housing and services. HOT Teams conduct assessments, provide referrals for housing and shelter, and connect households with behavioral health and other supportive services.