Our mobile outreach team is on the front line of helping people who are homeless. Each weekday, our team goes directly to homeless encampments, parks, sidewalks, and underpasses in Oakland and Alameda to provide services to people who are without housing.
The services the outreach team provides are twofold:
- First, the team assists people who are homeless with basic needs, providing bagged lunches and snacks, bottles of water, hygiene kits, rain gear, and other supplies they need to stay as safe and healthy as possible. Last year, we distributed more than 25,000 such supplies to hundreds of people in Oakland.
- Second, the team connects participants with services to improve their long-term situation. We assist people in preparing housing applications, getting IDs and other documentation, traveling to service appointments, applying for employment and/or benefits, and addressing other needs. We also partner with health care providers and other local service agencies to have their staff “ride along” with us and provide services to people where they are.
We partner with the cities of Oakland and Alameda, Alameda County, and other local nonprofits to place those with the deepest needs into permanent housing. In fact, because of our long outreach experience, we are often asked to be the lead outreach partner in multi-agency collaboratives, and to train other organizations in outreach.
Since December 2017, we have also worked with the City of Oakland to manage three Community Cabins sites. These sites offer very low-barrier shelter to people coming from encampments. Residents stay for up to six months in double-occupancy cabins, accessing shelter, food, and other basic needs, and also working with our housing navigators to secure longer-term housing.