ABQ Street Connect reduces ER visits by 40% among
people experiencing homelessness, program recognized by
According to the latest report, there was a statistically significant annualized reduction of
5.3 emergency hospitalizations per participant, on average. The New Mexico non-profit
organization Heading Home implemented the Albuquerque StreetConnect (ABQSC)
program in July 2017. The ABQSC program is a complex-care intervention designed to
provide emergency housing, permanent supportive housing, and prioritized street
outreach to individuals experiencing chronic homelessness.
Mayor Tim Keller recently recognized and thanked the Street Connect team for evaluating and
assisting former residents living at Coronado Park. “Heading Home’s Street Connect team
plays a key role in making sure our unhoused neighbors have access to the right services and
care. The City of Albuquerque greatly appreciates their compassion and dedication to helping
those in need,” said Mayor Tim Keller.
The intervention specifically targets high-need, high-cost utilizers of the criminal justice and
emergency medical systems, often those with mental health and substance use comorbidities,
who otherwise might be left behind attempting to navigate a fragmented healthcare and social
service ecosystem on their own. The ABQSC model relies on a combination of trauma-informed
intensive case management at sensitive system touchpoints and unique intervention components
[e.g., collaborative interagency partnerships; issuance of Certificates for Evaluation (CFE) as a
crisis stabilization tool to address the multifaceted needs of high-acuity system users.
ABQSC Navigator Services
According to the latest report, there was a statistically significant annualized reduction of 5.3
emergency hospitalizations per participant, on average, in the 18- months following program
enrollment. This equates to an estimated $600,000 reduction in publicly-paid medical bills.
For the full report please use this link:
The ABQSC intervention is designed to provide high-intensity case management services via a
set of Navigators. Navigators can be thought of as caseworkers who help patients overcome
modifiable barriers to care and achieve their care goals by providing a tailored approach to
addressing individual needs” (McBrien et al., 2018) Data on navigation services provided by
ABQSC Navigators was only available from January 2021 – May 2022. In the 18-month window
for which we have data, 13 different ABQSC Navigators had 3,354 encounters with ABQSC
participants. Navigators had, on average, 37.2 contacts with each participant. The ratio of
Navigators-to-participants was approximately 1:13 which is consistent with ICM best practices
which typically advise active caseloads of between 10-15 participants per case manager.
Who Participates in Street Connect?
Since its inception in July 2017 and through March 2022, ABQSC has served 237 unique
participants. 59% of participants served by the program identified as male. A plurality of 25%
was in the 25-44 age cohort. A majority of 60% identified as White [Non-Hispanic (n = 79);
Hispanic (n=52)]. Before enrolling, 65% of participants had at least one contact with the
Albuquerque Police Department. Before enrolling, 86% of participants were booked at least
once at the Metropolitan Detention Center. Of the 65 participants who completed a VI-SPDAT
assessment, the average score was 10, indicating a high need for assistance securing
permanent supportive housing. The typical ABQSC participant entered shelters approximately
2.4 times in the 18 months before enrolling. Since reporting data on housing voucher issuance
in November 2021, through May 2022, ABQSC assisted 29 participants secure short-term