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Evaluation of the Homeless Outreach Service Team (HOST) Program

Resource Overview

The purpose of this interactive publication is to provide a summary of an evaluation that was conducted on the Salt Lake City (Utah) Police Department’s Homeless Outreach Service Team (HOST) program. The report, which evaluates the three primary components of the HOST program—donations to homeless service providers, the homeless support group, and collaborative street outreach—is a valuable resource for anyone interested in homeless outreach efforts.

About This Resource

The Homeless Outreach Service Team (HOST) program was developed to bring Salt Lake City (Utah) police and community outreach workers together to identify homeless individuals and connect them to community resources.

The objectives were to encourage police to make referrals to services rather than issue citations and to decrease panhandling by encouraging the public to give money to homeless service providers instead.

In 2012, the Salt Lake City Police Department received an award from the COPS Office to expand the HOST program to fund a public awareness campaign, coordinate strategic planning efforts, and train homeless individuals to assist with outreach efforts.

Salt Lake City contracted with the Utah Criminal Justice Center to examine the impact of the award on the program’s services and personnel. This report evaluates three primary components of the program: donations to homeless service providers, the homeless support group, and collaborative street outreach.

This interactive report is based on the 2016 written publication of the same name, which was funded by the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office). This interactive version you are accessing has been created by the Virginia Center for Policing Innovation (VCPI) via cooperative agreement number 2018-CK-WXK001 awarded by the COPS Office.

Primary Audience

The intended audience for this interactive publication is anyone interested in homeless outreach efforts and specific strategies that have been implemented to address this issue.


Erin B. Worwood, MCJ; Jessica Seawright, BSW; Robert P. Butters, PhD

Original Publication:

October 5, 2016