As mental health services are getting cut, one vital resource in Eugene is expanding. CAHOOTS crisis assistance will now operate 24-hours a day.
CAHOOTS stands for Crisis Assistance Helping Out on the Streets. They respond to non-emergency mental health calls in Eugene, and as of 2015, Springfield and Glenwood.
Kate Gillespie is CAHOOTS’ program coordinator.
Gillespie: "We work with people to help them get to the next step. Working with folks in crisis means we take them from wherever they're at—maybe they're at their house, maybe they're on the side of the road having a tough time—and we go with what the most emergent issue is at that time."
Gillespie says CAHOOTS has operated in Eugene for 27 years, and is entirely funded by the City. She says in recent years two CAHOOTS vans have run for 16 hours a day. But as of January 1st, the service will be 24/7 in Eugene.
Gillespie: “People have crisis around the clock and just because it’s four o’clock in the morning doesn’t mean that somebody is not having a hard time.”
Gillespie says she hopes CAHOOTS will be able operate 24-hours a day in Springfield by the end of the summer.
CAHOOTS responds to about 15,000 calls a year.