RAMS Newest Program: BEST Neighborhoods

group shot of BEST Neighborhoods team

BEST Neighborhoods (Bridge and Engagement Services Team Neighborhoods) is a collaboration between RAMS, the San Francisco Department of Public Health, and other community partners that provides street-based behavioral health care throughout the city, one neighborhood at a time. With carefully created care plans, strong multi-disciplinary teams, street-based medical and psychiatric resources, and the support of other agencies and City departments, we seek to quickly improve the health and quality of life of people experiencing homelessness and living with chronic mental health conditions.

RAMS joined the BEST Neighborhoods program in Aug. 2023 with a team of Peer Counselors who use the combination of their training, lived experience, and knowledge of the system of care to provide street-based care, referrals, and linkage to mental health treatment, medical care, substance use services, and shelter/housing. The team currently operates six days/week, 8am-6pm, with an eye toward increasing to seven days/week in 2024. RAMS BEST Neighborhoods will also expand to include a clinical behavioral health team in early 2024 to most effectively offer assessment, treatment, and care coordination for clients in the field.

The BEST Neighborhoods team frequently provides follow-up care for clients encountered by the Street Crisis Response Team, also staffed by RAMS Peer Counselors. We are grateful to play a key role in the City and County of San Francisco’s mental health reform efforts.The BEST Neighborhoods program’s origins and strong impact so far have been covered by the San Francisco Chronicle’s ‘Fixing Our City’ podcast series. You can read and listen more about it here, from April 25, 2023.