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San Luis Obispo looking to expand Community Action Team

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Posted at 8:28 AM, Aug 30, 2021

The City of San Luis Obispo’s Community Action Team is looking to add another clinician to its crew.

The goal is to improve the experience of people who are unhoused.

A city representative said that during mental health emergencies, the Community Action Team (CAT) works to balance compassion with community safety.

Kelsey Nocket, the Homelessness Response Coordinator for the City of San Luis Obispo, said, “A lot of what they're dealing with is the homeless community, but truly this is a service for the community at large.”

San Luis Obispo currently has one mental health clinician on hand who works weekdays with a member of law enforcement to patrol and answer calls from organizations and the community.

“A signal to them may be that somebody is acting out of the ordinary and in that case, they're not looking to exercise punitive action right they're looking to simply approach that person engaging in a conversation and assess if that person would like to receive services,” Nocket explained.

The team also conducts rounds, as well as has a phone number that neighbors and business owners can call: (805) 305-5650. You can also call the non-emergency dispatch line for the City of San Luis Obispo at (805) 781-7312.

Nocket listed the requirements for the job. “For the mental health clinician, they need to have some sort of a license and behavioral health, or they need to be on track to be getting their license," she said.

Nocket added that the applicant can also be doing their internships, service hours, or en route to that professional certification.

According to City officials, much of the work they do is connecting people with services that already exist and guiding them through that process that can be difficult to navigate during a crisis.