Special Service for Groups Homeless Outreach Program Integrated Care System (HOPICS)

Los Angeles, California

Photo Courtesy of Special Service for Groups

The Special Service for Groups (SSG) Homeless Outreach Program Integrated Care System (HOPICS) Trauma Recovery Center was launched in 2014 and serves over 1,000 survivors of crime from underserved communities each year through trauma informed, evidence-based psycho-education and individual and group counseling.

SSG was originally founded in Los Angeles in 1952 as a nonprofit organization working with community groups to develop and implement innovative human service programs that address the needs of vulnerable communities. It now offers a range of services including health promotion activities for ethnic minority communities, homeless services, and community-based behavioral health treatment. SSG’s HOPICS division was established in 1988 to provide street outreach, case management, and information and referrals to homeless individuals.  In response to the significant need for behavioral health interventions among the homeless, HOPICS evolved to also provide mental health and substance abuse treatment.  Subsequently, they expanded behavioral health and case management services to address the tremendous need within the general population of the South Los Angeles community.

“Patients need to get linked to the next level of care, that’s where the trauma recovery center relationship is so valuable to the patient and the hospital. We don’t want the patient to leave the hospital and fall out of care. These are people for whom care could fall by the wayside. Having someone from the trauma recovery center, who they trust, linking them to care and leading them through the next steps helps avoid readmission or a psychiatric crisis.”

Kathy Ballou, Nursing Director at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital

With funding made available through California legislation in 2013, administered by the Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board, SSG HOPICS became the first Trauma Recovery Center granted in Los Angeles County to serve victims of violent crimes. In addition to direct services, they also provide Trauma Informed Care trainings to educate members of the community, service providers, and law enforcement on the effects of trauma, vicarious trauma, and complex trauma.  They collaborate with schools, faith based organizations, law enforcements, community agencies, and homeless shelters to create a community wide support network to reestablish a sense of safety, healthy relationships, and supporters of nonviolence.

Further Reading

UC San Francisco Trauma Recovery Center Manual: A Model for Removing Barriers to Care and Transforming Services for Survivors of Violent Crime »