A Hospital Without Walls

Denver’s Court to Community program is showing promise.

"Seventy percent of the transports [to the ER] are by law enforcement," Cameron notes. "If you're lucky, you get a trained officer to come to your house and de-escalate a crisis situation. But the only place the officers had to take someone was the hospital emergency room." The "triage" label for her program is somewhat misleading, Cameron says — as with the court program, the overall goal is to provide links to a wider community of resources and make the critical followup and aftercare more feasible.

Lewinski expects to see the approach expand as its cost-effectiveness is demonstrated. "The good news is that the quality of life for these folks is improving," she says. "It's no picnic to cycle in and out of jail and live on the streets."

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