Life Intervention Focus Team Initiative (LIFT)
In early 2019, the Treasure Island Police Department and Treasure Island Fire Rescue joined together to help provide solutions for our community’s most at-risk populations. The joint Fire and Police leadership team spearheaded a program designed to connect those who needed services such as:
- elderly care for progressive cognitive degeneration (Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia)
- mental health and mental health emergency services (under the Baker Act)
- substance abuse treatment programs (connecting with rehabilitation programs and transportation) and
- shelter and homelessness prevention to nonprofits and community organizations that were positioned to provide solutions, encouragement, and follow-up.
These pressing (and growing) problems affect the entire community and that’s one of the reasons LIFT was born.
LIFT is a structured, pro-active, unified approach that convenes various community resources such as crisis intervention professionals on the Treasure Island Police Department, the Treasure Island Fire Department, PEMHS, Windmoor Health, Operation PAR, The Suncoast Center, Empath Health, Homeless Empowerment Program, and the Homeless Leadership Alliance etc., to support families and individuals in times of need. The group effectively leverages not-for-profit Pinellas county and state resources to provide Treasure Island residents in need with resources that meet their particular situations.
Arrests are not a solution. Our EMS System was not designed to provide the needed social services. These are temporary bandages on the larger problems. LIFT is aimed at elevating lives and providing solutions.
How LIFT Helps Meet the Needs of Treasure Island
LIFT is a group that bridges the needs of the community and the resources available to do the following:
- Improve contact with families and individuals in need to provide resources
- Reduce the number of calls for emergency services involving troubled individuals
- Develop a database of families and individuals utilizing community services
- Track progress of participants for follow-up, additional needs, and program improvement
How You Can Help
LIFT has reduced the homeless population in Treasure Island by about one third in the two years it has been acting as a bridge between those in need and the organizations that can help. But our efforts alone are not enough.
LIFT is always looking for:
- Volunteers who want to make a difference in the lives of our most vulnerable populations.
- partnerships with human services, faith-based, and/or non-profit organizations that can help individuals looking for a new start, rehabilitation, job training, housing, medical and mental health assistance as well as social service organizations that can provide adequate follow-ups to people who want a new start.
- help in lobbying Treasure Island, Pinellas county, and the State of Florida for long-term solutions, measures, and funding resources to address the causes behind homelessness and to ensure solutions are clearly communicated and easy to obtain for the individuals who need them such as expanding substance abuse and mental health counseling, increasing temporary shelters, long-term housing and hiring the staff needed to keep these programs viable.
- funds to help LIFT provide these needed services. Pinellas County and our Florida elected officials need to know there’s support for our efforts and the funding of social service programs that address substance abuse, mental health, and homelessness.
Telehealth Remote Access to Crisis Evaluation (TRACE)
Members of the Treasure Island Police Department met with representatives from the Directions for Living organization in May of 2021. We were selected to participate in the TRACE program. TRACE (Telehealth Remote Access to Crisis Evaluation) is a program that allows Law Enforcement Officers to have immediate access to Directions for Living Counselors while in the field responding to our community’s emergency calls. TRACE goals include:
- To support officers by providing mental health expertise, assessment, and guidance directly to officers and individuals in crisis in real-time, all at the push of a button.
- To decrease unnecessary Baker Acts and arrests through on-demand mental health assessments, engagement, and access to timely mental health services.
- To help with de-escalation, provide direct linkage to services, and support to individuals experiencing an emergent mental health crisis.
With quick access to help for anyone in need by using tablets provided by Directions for Living, TRACE is one of a few cutting edge new programs rolling out nationwide to support law enforcement when responding to mental health crisis with on-demand telehealth from local behavioral health experts.
|Click the link below to learn more about our Homeless Outreach Resources