Purpose To help the Bankers Hill Community understand who to call for assistance and to mitigate neighborhood impacts related to transients, people experiencing homelessness, and whom are impacting the safety and security of our area. As there are dedicated professionals and organizations focused on the challenges of homelessness, this guide is not intended to replicate those resources, to inadvertently avoid or delay calling 911 when an immediate response is required, nor to be a comprehensive guide for all transient matters.
Resources and Contact Information
San Diego Police Department
Homeless Outreach Team (HOT)
To engage SDPD for non-emergent issues, HOT provides community members experiencing homelessness a liaison to available social services.
The purpose of HOT is to provide an alternative to enforcement for those who find themselves in need of assistance and willing to accept help.
For more information:
visit San Diego Neighborhood Policing - Homeless
211 San Diego
24-hour confidential phone service for accessing community services
To direct individuals in need to the appropriate agency for assistance, including to HOT
The mission of 211 San Diego is to serve as a nexus to bring the community (organizations) together to help people efficiently access appropriate services and provide vital data and trend information for proactive community planning. For more information visit About 211
To engage homeless outreach teams, Alpha Project vans drive to areas where homeless people congregate. In an effort to develop relationships, the teams offer food, water, clothing, hygiene supplies, blankets, heat packs, transportation assistance, help obtaining identification, as well as a compassionate ear.
Services offered include affordable housing, residential substance abuse treatment, supportive housing for people with special needs, basic and emergency services for the homeless, transportation assistance, mental health counseling, employment training, preparation and placement, education, outreach and prevention, and community services.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I help a homeless person?
According to the Alpha Project, San Diego has many resources for individuals experiencing homelessness, Alpha Project being one of them. A way to help is by directing individuals to resources such as 2-1-1, which is the homeless information line for San Diego.
What should I do if I see a person behaving erratically?
You should call 911. If you think someone is experiencing a psychiatric emergency, SDPD may dispatch PERT, the Psychiatric Emergency Response Team.
What should I do if people are camping out?
Report encampments by calling the SDPD non-emergency number (619-531-2000) or by submitting a report on Get It Done. If known, it is helpful to include approximately how many people are present, how many days of encampment and whether animals are present. You must answer a few multiple-choice questions and provide the location. Including a detailed description and photos are optional.
What if I see a person who appears unconscious or passed out?
911 should be called if there is any possibility that the person is experiencing a medical emergency based on their location, position, circumstances or unresponsiveness. SDPD Homeless Outreach Team, 211 or the non-emergency number should be called if someone is instead “napping”.
What are the signs that someone might be a danger to themselves, property or others and what should I do?
According to Community Relations Officer Larry Turner, any statements you hear that someone is a danger to themself or to others, or your belief based on everything that you see and/or hear that the person is gravely disabled are indicative signs. Some examples of these behaviors are walking in traffic, cutting themselves, leaning over a bridge ledge, lying on train tracks, etc. Self-endangerment makes up about 99% of the events warranting police intervention, including those who haven’t eaten, bathed, taken their meds, etc. making them gravely disabled. If what you are seeing and hearing leads you to believe the person is a danger to themselves, property or others, you should call 911.
When do I call 911 versus 211?
Call 911 for an immediate response from police, fire department, or emergency medical service teams, for crimes happening now, suspicious activity, and life-threatening emergencies. Call 211 to access a wide range of essential community services, including social service resources for those experiencing homelessness and non-emergency events.