Photo by Jerry Baker, Freelance

PROGRAM AIMS TO HELP COUNTY’S HOMELESS

New Harris County Sheriff’s Office team looks to break cycle of arrests

Chron.com | By Tamra Santana | January 19, 2016

In an effort to help the area’s more than 4,000 homeless residents, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office has started a new outreach program.

The Homeless Outreach Team provides transportation to transitional housing or doctor’s appointments and offers food, water, clothing, bedding and hygiene kits. The team’s primary goal is to help the homeless find housing.

“Typically, our day revolves around helping people who cannot help themselves,” sheriff’s Lt. Robert Henry said. “We help people in need of housing, mental-health care. It’s very fulfilling. It’s a nontraditional police role. It’s satisfying to be able to help our community in this way.”

Henry, a 33-year veteran at the sheriff’s office, started the program in November after seeing the growing need in the community.

“It’s been a career-long goal of mine to help people who are mentally ill and to help people who are homeless, and sometimes there’s a cross connection between the two,” he said.

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RELATIONSHIPS

We build relationships with individuals on the streets as a means to inspire a sense of purpose.

HEALTH

Unlike other programs, we view individuals holistically, addressing mental, spiritual, and physical health needs.

EDUCATION

We provide life skills training and help connect with job readiness and job training programs.

MENTORING

Each person is surrounded by a mentorship team dedicated to their lifelong success.