Homeless Engagement and Response Team

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Homeless​ Engagement And Response Team



The Homeless Engagement and Response Team (HEART) is a special group in Sacramento County that focuses on helping people who dont have a place to live. Their main job is to connect these individuals with important services, like accessing mental health services, getting food, getting medical help, and housing and shelter resources. HEART ​​works together with different parts of the county government, city partners, and other community groups to make sure people who are experiencing homelessness get the support they need. 

Mission and Approach 

HEART mission is to help people who don’t have a place to live. Here’s how they do it: 

  1. 1) Outreach and Engagement: 

            • ​​​​​​​HEART staff, including counselors and peers (who were once homeless themselves), talk to individuals who are homeless in shelters and encampments. 
            • They check on mental health and substance use. 
            • By being kind and understanding, HEART builds trust with those who need help.
  1. ​​2) Linkage and Assessments: 

              • ​​​​​HEART helps people in camps and shelters sign up for important health services. 
              • ​​​​​They make sure individuals experiencing homelessness get the right medical and behavioral care, both now and in the future. 
              • ​​​​​​​By figuring out what each person needs, HEART helps them find the best resource for them. ​​​

Making a Difference 

HEARTs tireless efforts contribute to improved ​well-being, reduced homelessness, and create stronger community connections. By meeting individuals where they are and offering personalized support, HEART plays a crucial role in Sacramento Countys commitment to compassion, care and ending homelessness.  ​

How to Access HEART Services 

If you’re reaching out to refer someone who is experiencing homelessness, follow these steps to access HEART: 

        • ​​​Complete the HEART Referral Form. 
        • Send a Secure e-mail your completed form to BHS-HEARTReferrals@saccounty.gov.  
        • Include the following information: 
          1. ​​Your name 
          2. Your phone number 
          3. A brief message specifying the 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. This data also incluseds  HEART's efforts to engage, screen, and link clients to Sacramento County's Substance Use, Prevention, and Treatment (SUPT) program​. Below is data on our recent efforts.​​ Click here​​​ to download.​

HEART Dashboard - April - SUPT.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.

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.​