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San Francisco Homeless Resource

Homeless Outreach Team - HOT Team - H.O.T. Team

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San Francisco Homeless Outreach Team

Contact information:

For homeless individuals in distress on the street:  Call 311 and ask for SFHOT's Street Outreach Team

For general program information:  Call 415-355-7555

Location (drop-ins are discouraged):  50 Ivy Street, SF, CA 94102 and 2712 Mission Street, SF, CA 94110

The San Francisco Homeless Outreach Team (SFHOT) was established in June 2004.  SFHOT is a collaboration between the Department of Public Health, Human Services Agency, SF Public Library and the non-profit Public Health Foundation Enterprises. This multidisciplinary team serves individuals living on the street who are severely disabled.    SFHOT uses a client-centered “whatever it takes” approach, and employs comprehensive wrap-around services to meet client needs.  The program promotes harm reduction and strength-based recovery philosophies through its daily functioning, and utilizes acuity-based, data-driven, and outcomes-oriented processes to meet its goals.  The program also assesses medical and behavioral crises, and refers clients to emergency care as appropriate.

SFHOT provides the following lines of service:

Street Outreach

This service line provides outreach, engagement and warm-handoffs from the street to (or between) urgent/ emergent institutions.  The Street Outreach Team operate Monday through Friday 24 hours / day and responds to requests from 311, Care Coordinators, Police, Fire, and Urgent/Emergent facilities such as hospitals, SF Sobering Center, Psych Emergency Services, and Dore Psych Urgent Care for street outreach/intervention and transports.  The goals are to, within two hours, respond and determine if the individual can be cleared for transport and provide warm-handoff to and/or from urgent/emergent facilities.  In addition, the EST provides targeted search and outreach of system-wide high users of urgent and emergent services and other high-risk homeless individuals as identified by 311 (citizens) and health care coordinators and once found.  The team performs wellness checks and attempts to engage individuals into services and other resources as identified by community care plans. 

Street Medical Team

The medical team uses the model “Homeless to Primary Care Medical Home” and provides transitional primary health care to address barriers to primary care in the appropriate setting for each patient. Barriers that will be addressed may be related to patient issues such as: medical, mental health and substance use disorders; lack of benefits; competing priorities such as lack of food, shelter, or clothing. Barriers may also be related to systems issues such as: Enrollment and insurance requirements that are difficult for homeless individuals to obtain, inconvenient hours or locations of services; discrimination against homeless individuals in services; or services that have not created adaptations and accommodations for the needs of homeless people.

Stabilization Case Management

This service line provides short-term stabilization care management for 480 high risk homeless individuals (homeless more than three years, experiencing complex medical, psychiatric, and substance abuse tri-morbidity, using a high number of urgent/emergent care services, and not able to navigate health and human services system on their own).  Case Management accepts referrals from SFHOT Street Outreach and high user treatment programs.  Within six to twelve months, the goals are to: (1) Stabilize individuals from the street into shelter/SRO, (2) Remove personal barriers to attaining permanent housing; e.g., attain benefits, primary care linkage, behavioral health care linkage, IDs, legal aid, etc., (3) Secure and place into permanent housing, (4) Assess and serve as care coordinators for SF Health Network members who are high risk / high cost individuals and are unable to engage into the system. 

San Francisco Public Library Team

This service line is situated at the Civic Center Main Branch with staff who conduct outreach and offers referrals to homeless, marginally housed and/or mentally ill patrons of the library.  Staff also facilitate education sessions in group or individual settings for library staff, in order to improve understanding of behaviorally vulnerable patrons of the library.  Staff’s goal is to help library staff serve this group of patrons according to their needs, while helping to decrease the number and severity of incidents that require intervention from Library security staff.  Staff also train Health and Safety Associates (HaSAs) who are selected from a group of homeless library patrons being served by SF HOT’s case management function.  These HaSAs assist the team by using their life experiences and learned engagement skills to reach out to other homeless patrons, in order to persuade them to accept case management and other services.  In the process, HaSAs gain employment and job-seeking skills.

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