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 the mental health field. The CAHOOTS teams deal with a wide range of mental health related crises, 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.