Expansion of New York SCOUT teams sparks conversation about unhoused people experiencing mental illness

Earlier this month, New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced plans to expand SCOUT, or subway co-response outreach teams, which involuntarily hospitalize unhoused people on New York subways who show signs of mental illness. Hochul’s announcement led to debate on one social media platform about whether or not these measures benefit unhoused people experiencing mental illness.

Recommendation: Conversations about addressing mental illness in unhoused populations provide an opportunity to promote resources for unhoused people in your communities—particularly unhoused people experiencing mental illness. Messaging may also educate on the ways homelessness may cause or perpetuate mental illness.