SLO Board of Supervisors approves “clinic on wheels” to better serve homeless population

Posted at 11:14 AM, Sep 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-12 14:14:10-04

Plans to launch a “clinic on wheels” to better serve the homeless population will move forward after the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday night to approve the resolution.

According to the legislative assistant for District 3 in SLO, the Board unanimously approved the resolution.

The one-time funding allocation from the Homeless Mentally Ill Outreach and Treatment program through the Department of Health Care Services will pay for mobile outreach assessment and treatment services under a half million dollar budget.

The funds, which are made available through California’s Senate Bill 840, will provide the county with one or two vans for homeless outreach and services, similar to the “clinic on wheels” van utilized by Community Health Care Centers of the Central Coast for the past few years.

The issue was presented to the Board by Health Agency Director Michael Hill and Behavioral Health Administrator Anne Robin, who drafted a letter to the board in support of the resolution.

“The team determined that having additional mobile outreach with assessment and treatment capacity could most effectively serve the community,” Hill and Robin said in the letter. “While the HOT (Homeless Outreach Team) covers the entire County they are unable to meet the increasing need for outreach and treatment.”  

The van will be staffed with contracted peer support specialists, a case managers and a clinician. It will also have access to a psychiatric technician and psychiatrist or nurse practitioner via phone.

According to the letter, it’s anticipated that the current HOT staff would utilize the van with a schedule that provides services in the community and at the shelters.

When this one-time funding ends, the goal is to use a combination of Medi-Cal reimbursement and MHSA to sustain the program.