Homeless to housed: Cities pair police and social workers to help turn lives around
In the beginning, some saw it as an unlikely pairing. “It was a struggle at first, I have to say,” said Yvonne Nelson, a social worker with an organization called REACH. She had mixed feelings about working alongside police officers to tackle the city’s homeless crisis. “We asked them to stand back while we talked to people,” she said, worried that the presence of uniformed officers would prevent people from being honest about things like drug abuse.