Community Service Team (CST)
The Community Service Team (CST) and Social Services Coordinator (SSC) strive to strengthen relationships and build connections between the unhoused community, Public Safety, and local service providers, in order to promote health, well-being, and safety.
The CST and SSC serve as our resource navigators. They work collaboratively with direct service providers to develop holistic and sustainable long-term plans for unhoused community members, such as employment, housing, and treatment. They also help break down access barriers and connect people to needed resources.
In addition to serving the unhoused population, the CST and SSC prioritize service outreach to other vulnerable populations, such as children, the elderly, individuals experiencing mental illness, substance abusers, survivors of domestic violence and other forms of abuse, as well as individuals affected by trauma.
Additionally, they are trained in critical intervention and negotiation and respond to crisis calls within the City of Kalamazoo. The CST and SSC can be contacted for questions about resource referrals (e.g., documents, food, mental and physical health care, substance abuse and rehabilitation programing, housing resources, employment), family reunification services, community education opportunities, and encampment clean-up/concerns.
The Community Service Team Brochure(PDF, 16MB) identifies some local community resources. Those needing assistance can also dial 2-1-1 as the first step to accessing a broad range of local health and human services.
Social Services Coordinator and Victim Advocate
The Social Services Coordinator/Victim Advocate works to connect community members to community resources by sharing resource information and breaking down access barriers. She works closely with the Community Service Team (CST) and the Community Policing Officers (CPO’s) on a daily basis. With the CST team, she conducts outreach to individuals experiencing homelessness and refers them to various community service organizations based on their individual needs. With the CPO’s, she follows up with frequent 911 callers as well as officer referrals regarding individuals who may benefit from additional support and resources. The Social Services Coordinator/Victim Advocate also partners with the Community Collaborator and the Pastors on Patrol to provide short term emotional support for individuals impacted by a traumatic event, and completes referrals for further mental health and grief support.