Francene Marie interviews the Forensic Evaluations Unit for Mecklenburg County Criminal Justice Services. Guests include Dr. Stephen Strzelecki – Lead Clinical Psychologist, Marcus Boyd, MA, LPC, LCAS, CCS the Court Liaison and Melissa Zhiss, MA LPA the Jail Liaison in the unit. Their positions are very strategic and vital in the community.
The Homeless Outreach Prevention Program is a collaborative project run by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department and Mecklenburg County. The goal of the program is to identify homeless individuals with disabilities who are involved with or could become involved with the criminal justice system and connect them with necessary resources such as income and housing. How it works: Program coordinators meet monthly with CMPD officers and partner agencies to design plans to help connect these individuals with necessary resources in hopes of keeping them from re-entering the criminal justice system.
HOP is a collaborative effort between the City of Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, and local not-for-profits to decrease criminal justice recidivism and homelessness, while also increasing life functioning for individuals who are homeless, have behavioral health problems and are living in the Uptown area. Police often identify potential clients who meet the program criteria and who have had multiple police contacts. Potential client’s case histories are presented to the HOP team and clients included in the program are monitored on a regular basis. The HOP team then works together to create a plan to intervene with the client and a primary service provider is identified when possible. Due to the chronic and persistent nature of HOP clients’, clients may require multiple interventions and strategies in order to help them move out of homelessness and engage in treatment.