Behavioral Health receives $17 million for homeless outreach program

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Photo/Anthony Victoria: A homeless man sleeping behind Larson’s Pharmacy in Colton.
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The Department of Behavioral Health (DBH) has been approved to implement their Innovative Remote Onsite Assistance Delivery (InnROADs) program with a budget of $17 million over five years.

On Feb. 28, DBH successfully presented their InnROADs project to the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission (MHSOAC). The InnROADs project is funded through the Innovation Component of the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) also known as Prop. 63. 

“We are pleased to bring such an innovative project to San Bernardino County that addresses persons who are homeless, have a serious mental illness/addiction and are living in our rural and remote areas,” said DBH Director, Veronica Kelley.

The five-year, time-limited learning project, is a multi-agency, multidisciplinary approach to engaging individuals experiencing homelessness and mental illness in rural areas of San Bernardino County. The project is a collaborative effort among DBH, Department of Aging and Adult Services, Department of Public Health and the Sheriff’s Department.

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The goal of the InnROADs project is to build trust, help support and care for communities and eventually link them into the appropriate system of care. 

“These funds will enable a multidisciplinary team made up of our essential partners, to go into our rural and frontier areas via five off-road mobile teams, to treat in place and assist moving our homeless population into permanent supportive housing with a focus on treating their mental illness and/or addiction,” Kelley said.

Possible treatment could include counseling, medication and basic physical health screenings. Through this project services will “go to” the individuals in need, no matter where they are located within San Bernardino County.

“We have taken the lead from our stakeholders and are very excited to bring this project to life for our community,” said Office of Innovation Program Manager, Karen Cervantes.  “This is a great opportunity to learn and improve the way we provide care.”

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