FRANKLIN COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — A new program will begin on Monday in Franklin County. The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office is implementing it to help people in the community who may need assistance.
The Care Coordinator Outreach Program is in partnership with the Northwest Florida Health Network. It will help people find resources for addiction or mental health problems.
Beginning Monday, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office care coordinator will partner with a deputy. When someone is found that may need help, the coordinator will intervene and share possible resources to help.
Sheriff A.J. Smith said this program is to hopefully prevent people from ending up in jail.
“If we can keep them from coming to jail, that’s going to help reduce our jail population and it’s going to make our communities better because people see these homeless folks that are addicted and have mental health,” Smith said. “They don’t want them in their neighborhoods. They don’t want them in their yards. They don’t want them out possibly committing crimes. So I just think this is a great way to have a soft approach because a lot of these people are scared of law enforcement.”
Sheriff Smith said part of the resources include helping someone find a job, food, or place to sleep.