A Community Response Unit could be a key tool in tackling homelessness

A Community Response Unit would assign dedicated firefighter EMTs to 9-1-1 calls with homeless individuals. CRU staff would assess the individual’s health and remain on scene as long as needed to build trust and connect them to resources—be it medical support, mental health support, substance abuse counseling, housing options, or transportation home.

AB 1544 allows for the creation of EMS programs to transport patients to alternate destinations such as a mental health facility or sobering center.

A CRU would have several applications beyond connecting homeless individuals to resources, such as helping elderly individuals who experience frequent falls, and supporting future vaccination efforts with mobile units.