Houston Police Bringing Hope to Homeless With This Approach

Brad Fox | March 19, 2015
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"You've got to be called to do this kind of police work," said Sergeant Steve Wick, a member of the Houston Police Department's Homeless Outreach Team. "You've got to want to do to this kind of police work." 

He discussed with Connect Houston News Houston PD's new approach in how they deal and interact with the homeless. 

“Every person who lives on the street is broken in some way," Wick said. "After slipping through the cracks of society, they become invisible to the system."

"We help shepherd them back through the system, so they can get the services they need, and get off the streets."

This proactive approach to police work, responding to those in need before something happens, is being implemented in cities like Houston, Colorado Springs, Cambridge, and New York. Outreach teams include mental health workers partnering with charities, doing whatever they can to help the homeless -- from securing birth certificates to housing and employment. 

"When you work in an area like downtown Houston for a long time you get to know the street population," Wick said. "You talk with them, you hear their stories, you arrest them..." 

"I've got great relationships with people I've arrested... Dozens and dozens of times, because I care about them. They become like your second family."