A homeless response pilot program begins in Mansfield Monday

The homeless have become more prevalent in downtown Mansfield, community leaders say.

A homeless response pilot program that was developed through a collaborative effort of local mental health, government and business officials will begin Monday in downtown Mansfield. The announcement was made Thursday as the Richland County commissioners proclaimed May as “Mental Health Month” with the theme of “Local Help for Local Hope.”

The program calls for a clinician from Catalyst Life Services to partner with a law enforcement officer from the Mansfield Police Department, who will spend 12 hours per week in three, four-hour shifts doing outreach and interaction with the local homeless population.

According to Joe Trolian, executive director of the Richland County Mental Health and Recovery Services Board, contacts will be made not only in locations on the streets where homeless gather but also at stationary sites such as Harmony House, City Church, the feeding center on Bowman Street and other locations that are providing assistance.

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