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Council endorses partnership to provide support for homeless

Wednesday, December 9, 2020 by Katy McElroy

Recognizing the need for expanded behavioral health resources for individuals experiencing homelessness in Austin, City Council members at their last meeting approved a resolution directing the city manager to support a partnership between Downtown Austin Community Court, the Homeless Outreach Street Team and Integral Care. Council Member Kathie Tovo sponsored the bill, along with co-sponsors Mayor Steve Adler and Council members Natasha Harper-Madison, Ann Kitchen and Pio Renteria. The partnership enables the Downtown Austin Community Court and HOST to identify and refer individuals experiencing homelessness to a new team that will provide resources to individuals to address behavioral health, substance use disorders and primary care health needs along with intensive case management and housing navigation support. Integral Care will manage the team, providing services out of its clinic at 3000 Oak Springs Drive as well as anywhere they are required. The team anticipates serving 150-175 people per year with intensive case management and behavioral treatment and services. “Integral Care is excited to strengthen our collaborations with the City of Austin and Downtown Austin Alliance to connect individuals experiencing homelessness to services that rebuild their mental and physical health and support recovery,” said Ellen Richards, Integral Care’s chief strategy officer, in a press release announcing the partnership. Downtown Austin Alliance has pledged funding for half of the first year’s costs. The resolution also directs the city manager to identify funding no later than Dec. 10 and to explore ­sources for potentially expanding the program.

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