Street Outreach

Street Outreach meets people where they’re at- literally and emotionally.

Willis Dady’s Homeless Street Outreach program, which began in January 2018, looks to connect people currently sleeping in a place not meant for habitation with resources that exist in the community.  The main goal is to assist those sleeping on the streets, in their cars, in abandoned buildings, sheds or other locations find permanent, stable housing.  The case manager will meet with someone in the outreach office or at a location where the individual is comfortable. The case manager completes an assessment with each client, makes sure their immediate needs are met (food, water, hygiene, blankets, etc), and then continues to work with them one-on-one to create a housing and stabilization plan. 

Why outreach and a housing and stabilization plan matter

Linn County has numerous services available to people experiencing homelessness, however they can be difficult to navigate at times; that’s where case management comes in.  The case manager is someone who understands the ins and outs of each service in Linn County and can make sure that correct referrals are made to the right agencies.  We work on an individualized housing and stabilization plan because we don’t have cookie-cutter clients; each person has a different story and background, and therefore has different wants and needs they’d like to see met.  Plans may begin with more basic needs: such as clean clothes, finding a place to shower, or getting a backpack to allow them to carry their belongings more easily.  More complex plans may include searching for employment, applying for Social Security benefits, getting access to mental health services or searching for housing. 

Street Outreach can be the difference between someone falling through the cracks and finding permanent, stable housing.

If you are currently experiencing homelessness, you know someone who is or you have seen someone who you believe could be sleeping outside, contact Emily Zimmon at 319-651-8530 or via email at Prevention@WillisDady.org

Homeless Outreach is:

  • One-on-One

  • Strengths-Based

  • Individualized

  • Supportive

  • Empowering

Homeless Outreach includes:

  • Advocacy

  • Referrals

  • Motivational Interviewing

  • Follow-Ups

  • Accountability

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