The City of Richmond, like many cities, is experiencing the impacts of rising levels of homelessness. Many of these individuals lack the transportation, resources, and ability to access traditional services within the coordinated system of care. To improve access to services, Contra Costa County established a Coordinated Outreach Referral and Engagement Team (C.O.R.E). C.O.R.E assists the unsheltered with obtaining short term and long term housing, transportation, mental health referrals, food and health care.
In 2019 the City of Richmond partnered with the San Pablo Police Department and initiated a C.O.R.E Homeless Outreach Engagement Team dedicated to the Richmond/San Pablo area. The C.O.R.E team is part of a comprehensive strategy to focus on homelessness. C.O.R.E provides routine intervention services for the homeless population to include housing assistance, shelter placement, mental health wrap around services and health care. CORE is set up to work with city staff to provide outreach services to local encampments. The City of San Pablo provides cost sharing benefits and joint planning in this effort. A similar effort was spearheaded by Martinez and Pleasant Hill.
The benefits of a comprehensive strategy to focus on homelessness include:
• Identifying homeless individuals and gathering data about their specific problems (mental health issues, drug or alcohol dependencies, poverty, etc.). The outreach liaison can make referrals specific to these underlying problems.
• Identifying whether any homeless individuals have family members that can assist in supporting them.
• Engaging the unhoused and connecting them with housing, medical, economic, and mental health services.
• Building trust between the outreach liaison, city departments, and the homeless community in order to find solutions that do not solely focus on enforcement.
• Providing ongoing support to the chronically homeless.
C.O.R.E can be contacted by calling 211. Call 211 and speak with a dispatcher or leave a message regarding the individual who may need help, their location, and a call back number.
Currently, due to the pandemic, the CORE team is part of the essential outreach response to prevent the spread of coronavirus among the unhoused community. Initially C.O.R.E placed the most vulnerable populations into the Project Roomkey Hotels. Due to the impact of COVID-19, CORE has temporarily suspended its transportation services for the unhoused.
C.O.R.E teams are not designed for emergency response. For medical or other emergencies, dial 911.
If you have more questions about C.O.R.E functions, please contact or Captain Walle at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have questions about the C.O.R.E contract, or the Homeless Taskforce, contact Crime Prevention Manager Michelle Milam at email@example.com