CALIFORNIA: The Unexpected Role Librarians Are Playing in Sacramento’s Homeless Crisis

March 02, 2018
News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News
State:  California

The Sacramento Bee

The Sacramento Public Library is training its employees in Mental Health First Aid. Funded by the California State Library, the training aims to help librarians and other staff better address the needs of homeless visitors, many of whom struggle with mental health issues. Trainees are learning how to recognize and respond to people with mental illness or substance use disorders and connect them with local services. Thirty library employees have completed the course so far, and two more training sessions are planned for the coming months. “Part of our job is to welcome every person who walks through the door and not pass judgment or make assumptions,” said children’s librarian Barbara Ros of the Southgate Community Library. “When we see someone who is obviously having a hard time, it’s nice to have the information to respond to them in an appropriate way.”

Spark Extra! Learn more about Mental Health First Aid.

Populations:  People in Particular Occupations
Strategies:  Identify and Assist