2015 Top 25
Winners:
Lee County, FL
2015
Publication:
Innovations in American Government Awards
Jurisdiction:
Florida

The Bob Janes Triage Center/Low Demand Shelter (Triage Center) is a multiagency collaboration that provides a voluntary pre-arrest diversion program for individuals exhibiting symptoms of behavioral health disorders and who are at risk of arrest for low-level minor offenses or future involvement with the criminal justice system. Law enforcement may divert individuals with behavioral health issues to the Triage Center for shelter, assessments, and linkages to services. The project also accepts individuals from the local hospital system who are high utilizers of acute medical or behavioral health services. Veterans who are homeless can be referred by the Veterans Administration. The ultimate goal of the project is to provide people who are homeless with a more suitable and less costly alternative to incarceration and the inappropriate utilization of emergency rooms for primary health care needs; to utilize existing resources such as residential treatment and supportive housing more efficiently; and to offer individuals the opportunity to seek help when they are motivated to do so by providing a safe place to stay while accessing services.