Homeless Outreach Team (HOT)
We work in partnership with homeless service providers and businesses to refer the homeless to their resources or programs.
The Homeless Outreach Team (H.O.T.) is responsible for responding to all 911 calls regarding homeless individuals or calls for service. H.O.T. focuses on trying to keep the homeless out of jail if possible and divert them to services or shelters.
We also work to help make the homeless successful whether it's helping them get back on their medications if they have mental health issues, referring them to substance abuse centers if needed, assistance in resume building, job referrals, and building partnerships with them to get them the resources they need to make them successful.
The "Finding A Way Home" program reunites the homeless with their family to get them stabilized in a home. H.O.T. currently has a 501(c)(3) fund set up for this if their family is not in Wichita. H.O.T. is currently accepting donations to fund the team's efforts. If someone wishes to donate, they can send checks (on the memo line, please state "H.O.T. Bus Fund") to:
Wichita Police Department Fiscal Affairs
455 N Main, 4th Floor
Wichita, KS 67202
The program utilizes four full-time officers, Officer Nate Schwiethale, Officer Brittney Thomas, Officer Ryan Doshier, and Officer Mariah McCrea, and the team is supervised by Sergeant Erik Guzman. Their phone number is 316-854-3013. You may also email the Homeless Outreach Team.
- Wichita H.O.T. has been nationally recognized by NBC News and the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness.
- Recognized by SAMHSA with the federal government as the best H.O.T. model in the nation. Wichita was hired as a "content expert" to produce training modules on HOT for the Criminal Justice Sustainable Implementation Guide (CJ SIG).
- National recognition by the Department of Justice and another featured article on their "COPS" website.
- Listed as a best practice and researched by the U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services.
- State recognition by the Kansas House of Representatives in the State Capitol.
- Listed as the best practice in Police Homeless Outreach Teams by the Virginia Center for Policing Innovation (VCPI).
- Wichita H.O.T. has been a Consultant for the Center for Court Innovation on numerous projects.
- The National League of Cities listed Wichita as a best practice in dealing with homelessness.
- Recognized as a best practice by the National Alliance to End Homelessness.
The Homeless Outreach Team (HOT) Brochure (PDF) identifies some of the available community resources. Dial 211 for information on thousands of services to find help or to volunteer.