Care for homeless can be a long road for some in San Mateo County - LifeMoves Skip to main content

Service providers often work within fractured systems to provide empathetic client care

In South San Francisco, LifeMoves caseworker Francisco Valencia is assisting a homeless client. He’s set up a tent in a residential area, and police have been called — they’re waiting when Valencia arrives. 

Over the next hour and a half, Valencia, an officer and the LifeMoves client work through the barriers that often prevent homeless individuals from entering a shelter system or engaging with service providers.  

The client is accompanied by a dog, who doesn’t have the required vaccination and registration paperwork required for the pair to enter the shelter system. The client doesn’t have a working cellphone, making it more challenging for him to complete the Coordinated Entry System assessment required for obtaining temporary housing in San Mateo County.  

And the client has, in the past, had negative experiences with communal shelters — his property has been stolen by others, he said. 

Within 24 hours, he’s been placed into a temporary shelter. That isn’t always the case in San Mateo County, where shelter waitlists can go up to two weeks, or even longer. In this case, however, the complex and sometimes-fractured system of homelessness care in the county is working as directed. 

“We work as a team,” Valencia said of the coordination between LifeMoves’ homelessness outreach team, local police and other service agencies, like Samaritan House — who run the Coordinated Entry System that finds shelter placement and services for homeless individuals. 

Read more… 

Stay Connected!

Receive stories of hope and transformation from LifeMoves.

By joining our list, you agree to receive informative emails and mailings about LifeMoves.