Homeless Engagement and Response Team

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Behavioral Health Services for People Experiencing Homelessness​

Where are the Best Places for Individuals Experiencing Homelessness to Access Mental Health and Substance Use Linkage?


Quick Reference:

  • 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline - The 988 Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals in the United StatesCall/text 988 or chat ​988lifeline.org​​.
  • Adult and Child Provider Walk-in Hours - Access and linkage to our adult and child providers can be found here​.
  • Mental Health Access Team - Access and linkage to our outpatient programs for Medi-Cal beneficiaries who meet eligibility criteria. Call (916) 875-1055 or submit an online referral here​. ​  
  • CORE Community Wellness Centers - 11 drop in centers where individuals can access a full array of peer services and supports including assistance with linkage to specialty mental health services. Click here​ for locations and more information.
  • Community Support Team - Community based non-urgent mental health screenings, supports, and linkage to resources for any individual. Call (916) 874-6015. Click her​e for more information
  • Mental Health Urgent Care Clinic - Walk-in mental health clinic for any individual experiencing a mental health or substance use crisis. Call (916) 520-2460 for latest hours and to walk-in visit 2130 Stockton Boulevard, Building 300, Sacramento, CA 95817. Click he​re​ for more information.
  • Homeless Engage​ment and Response Team (HEART) - Outreach and engagement providing mental health and substance use screening, linkage and assessments in homeless shelters and encampments. Call (916) 875-1720 or securely submit referrals to BHS-HEARTReferrals@saccounty.gov​. Click here to access HEART Referral form. 
  • Substance Use Disorder and Youth System of Care - Access and linkage to substance use treatment programs for Medi-Cal beneficiaries who meet eligibility criteria and transitional housing/sober living programs. Click here​ to view the substance use prevention and treatment services community resource list.


Outreach and Engagement Services

Sacramento County Behavioral Health Services (BHS) provides outreach and engagement at the local shelters and in encampments located throughout Sacramento County through our Homeless Engagement and Response Team (HEART). HEART coordinates with Sacramento County's Department of Homeless Services and Housing, Department of Human Assistance, and Sacramento City's Department of Community Response to help make more successful placements into shelter/permanent housing and to better connect individuals to necessary services and supports, including health and behavioral healthcare.

What Is HEART?

Staffed with Counselors and Peers, HEART uses a phased approach to help encampment and shelter residents enroll in needed behavioral health services and support. Through the initial phase where we develop rapport and trust over time. The timeline for these phases can be weeks or years. The team's ultimate goal is to reach enrollment phase so that encampment and shelter residents will consent to and can obtain the behavioral services they need. 

How To Access HEART?

If you are calling to refer someone else experiencing homelessness, please complete the HEART Re​fe​rral form. Send a secured email to BHS-HEARTReferrals@saccounty.gov​ with 1) your name, 2) phone number, and 3) a brief message with what services you are seeking.​

Or Call (916) 875-1720


HEART Services Snapshot

The Homeless Engagement and Response Team (HEART) has successfully served some of the largest encampments, with the greatest service needs, throughout the county. Below is data on our recent efforts.​​ Click here​​​ to download.

HEART Dashboard - March.PNG

        ​ ​​    ​Click here to download data on HEART's efforts to engage, screen, and link clients to Sacramento County's Substance Use, Prevention, and Treatment (SUPT) programs.

HEART Dashboard - March - SUPT.PNG

HEART Graph 1 - March.PNG

HEART Graph 2 - March.PNGHEART Graph 3 - March.PNG__________________________________

Outpatient Services

Sacramento County Behavioral Health Services (BHS) provides outpatient mental health services for people experiencing homelessness. To access homeless services and supports, the person must be currently receiving mental health services in one of our many outpatient mental health programs. 

Adults with Mental Illness and Homelessness

Community Outreach Recovery Empowerment (CORE) Program - CORE is Sacramento County's primary outpatient mental health program for adults ages 18 and older with 11 sites strategically located throughout the county. For more information about CORE, visit this link​

The CORE model includes 11 sites strategically sited throughout the county. Each site includes both a CORE Outpatient Program and a CORE Community Wellness Center. The Wellness Centers will offer groups focusing on building connection, employment, and education skills. Participants in the Wellness Center can also ask for assistance in getting linked to eligible mental health services. All adults are welcomed to utilize the Wellness Centers and access these services, regardless of mental health conditions or Medi-Cal status. To access the Wellness Centers, just walk in. 

The CORE Outpatient Program offers a full array of specialty mental health services, including homeless prevention assistance, re-housing subsidies and support services. To be eligible to the services detailed below, individuals must be both linked to and receiving specialty mental health services in a CORE Outpatient Program, and experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness. 


  1. ​Address stressors that affect mental health
  2. Landlord Mediation
  3. Support with housing searches
  4. Address issues in the home that affect housing stability
  5. Address housing issues that negatively impact mental health
  6. Support with SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access and Recovery (SOAR)​​

Financial Services with Housing Rental Assistance

  1. Hotel/Motel Payment (Sheltering)
  2. Security Deposits
  3. Utilities
  4. Building Maintenance and Repair
  5. Credit Repair Fees
  6. Housing Document Readiness
  7. Moving Expenses
  8. Furniture
  9. Other Household Goods​


Youth with Mental Illness and Homelessness

Connect with our youth crisis resources here​

For youth under age 21 with a mental illness and their families experiencing homelessness or at imminent risk of homelessness, the following mental health programs can also assist with housing services and supports:

Flexible Integrated Treatment (FIT) Program -  FIT is Sacramento County's primary outpatient mental health program for youth. To learn more click here​. In addition to comprehensive mental health services for Medi-Cal beneficiaries, housing services and supports include: 


  1. ​Address stressors that affect mental health
  2. Landlord Mediation
  3. Support with housing searches
  4. Address issues in the home that affect housing stability
  5. Address housing issues that negatively impact mental health

​Financial Assistance with Housing

  1. ​Rental Assistance
  2. Hotel/Motel Payment (Sheltering)
  3. Security Deposits 
  4. Utilities
  5. Building Maintenance and Repair
  6. Credit Repair Fees
  7. Housing Document Readiness
  8. Moving Expenses
  9. Furniture
  10. Other Household Goods


How To Access Our Primary Mental Health Outpatient Services?

Adults walk into a CORE location​

All Ages submit an online Mental Health Service Request or call the Mental Health Access Team​ to request an over-the-phone assessment and linkage to an appropriate Mental Health Service Provider. This includes Mental Health Medi-Cal Service Providers. 

Monday - Friday, 8am - 5pm (24/7 for Mental Health Crisis Calls)

Call (916) 875-1055 or toll free (888) 881-4881

Fax (916) 875-1190


How To Access Our Substance Use Services?

For Substance Use Disorder (SUD) assessment and linkage to care to an appropriate SUD provider 

Call (916) 874-9754 or toll free (888) 881-4881

Monday - Friday, 8am - 5pm (24/7​)​​

Substance Use Services

  1. ​Outpatient
  2. Withdrawal Management/Detox
  3. Residential Treatment
  4. Medication-Assisted Treatment
  5. Transitional Housing/Sober Living Environment


Walk-in Services for a Mental Health or Substance Use Crisis

Mental Health Urgent Care Clinic (MHUCC) -  Provides services on a walk-in basis to individuals of all ages who are experiencing a mental health and/or co-occurring substance abuse crisis. If you or a loved one have an immediate mental health and/or co-occurring substance abuse need and are contemplating using an emergency room, the Mental Health Urgent Care Clinic is a resource with a team of peers, clinicians, and medical staff (The HOPE Team) who can assist in a calm and supportive environment. Check out the MHUCC webpage​

Call (916) 520-2460

24/7, 7 days a week​

Address: 2130 Stockton Boulevard, Building 300, Sacramento, CA 95817

If you would like more information​ about Sacramento County's wider response to homeless needs and housing - click here​ for more information.​​​