On May 11, 2023 the Douglas County Homeless Initiative announced it is the recipient of $1.6 million in state grant funding. The grant will support the ongoing work of Douglas County’s Homeless Engagement Assistance and Response Team (HEART), a co-response team that includes deputies from the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office and resource navigators to connect those experiencing homelessness with resources.
HEART Navigators are subject matter experts, often with experience in behavioral and mental health or case management. They proactively and directly interact with those experiencing homelessness in a compassionate way. They gather information on needs, assess vulnerability, provide complete case management, and make referrals to appropriate community services.
Partnered with law enforcement when safety is a concern, this community approach helps ensure people experiencing homelessness do not end up in emergency rooms or jail, but rather are directed to community services.
Preliminary Point in Time data from January 2023 indicate the number of people living unsheltered in Douglas County is down 46%.