Episcopal Community Services (ECS) launched its Behavior Health Services program in 2019. Building upon the SF START (San Francisco Shelters Treatment Access and Resource Team) of behavioral health specialists who served ECS’s two year-round shelters and three other city shelters, the current programming now works in two shelters and in collaboration with San Francisco’s Department of Public Health’s Roving Behavioral Health team to provide services to adults experiencing homelessness and currently residing in Project RoomKey/Sheltering In Place (SIP) sites throughout San Francisco.
ECS clinicians provide clients with coordinated and integrated services to address mental health challenges and support recovery. The moderate to severe behavioral health issues addressed include psychiatric, substance abuse, and co-occurring chronic medical conditions. The Behavioral Health team utilizes evidenced-based modalities to address each individual’s unique mental health and substance abuse needs, as well as provides referrals to other community-based services. The goal is to assist clients in identifying their risky behaviors so that, in partnership, we can pursue behavioral stabilization, develop coping skills, and create care plans designed to reduce the frequency and harm associated with the behavior. These services include assessments, client goal-setting, counseling, case management, referrals, crisis intervention, and benefits advocacy.