Crisis Assistance Helping Out On The Streets
WHAT IS CAHOOTS?
31 years ago the City of Eugene, Oregon developed an innovative community-based public safety system to provide mental health first response for crises involving mental illness,homelessness, and addiction. White Bird Clinic launched CAHOOTS (Crisis Assistance Helping Out On The Streets) as a community policing initiative in 1989.
The CAHOOTS model has been in the spotlight recently as our nation struggles to re-imagine public safety. The program mobilizes two-person teams consisting of a medic (a nurse,paramedic, or EMT) and a crisis worker who has substantial training and experience in themental health field. The CAHOOTS teams deal with a wide range of mental health relatedcrises, including conflict resolution, welfare checks, substance abuse, suicide threats, and more,relying on trauma-informed de-escalation and harm reduction techniques. CAHOOTS staff are not law enforcement officers and do not carry weapons; their training and experience are the tools they use to ensure a non-violent resolution of crisis situations. They also handle nonemergent medical issues, avoiding costly ambulance transport and emergency room treatment.
CAHOOTS provide mobile crisis intervention 24/7 in the Eugene-Springfield Metro area. CAHOOTS is dispatched within Eugene city limits through the Eugene Police non-emergency number, and within the Springfield urban growth boundary and Glenwood via Springfield Police non-emergency.