Rosalynn Bliss
Mayor | Grand Rapids, MI

ARP: Grand Rapids MI, Homeless Outreach Team Helping People Experiencing Homelessness

Idea Category: Housing | Funding Source: American Rescue Plan

Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss invested nearly $8 million in American Rescue Plan funds to establish and operate a Homeless Outreach Team (HOT). HOT is an interagency team, including the police department, fire department, and mental health agency, that works to provide supportive relationships with people impacted by homelessness. The team effectively advocated to lower barriers to enter shelters, established a storage pilot program, and worked with other organizations to provide a space for showers. Their efforts have resulted in over 7,000 street outreach contacts, including 200 diversions from jails and emergency departments, and 142 people referred for substance use disorder treatment and mental health treatment.