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Promoting Safety in Street Outreach

Year Developed: 2022

Resource Type: Archived Webinar.

Primary Audience: Clinicians Enabling Staff Outreach Staff

Language(s): English

Developed by: National Health Care for the Homeless Council (See other resources developed by this organization).

Resource Summary: This webinar recording describes core competencies for maintaining safety in street outreach.

Resource Details: The overall rise in homelessness over the last five years is largely attributable to the spike in unsheltered homelessness specifically. Communities across the country witnessed proliferation of encampments and others living in outdoor locations. This was exacerbated by COVID-19 in which gathering spaces (e.g., shelters, day centers, libraries, etc.) for people experiencing homelessness closed or decompressed. The need for outreach to people living unsheltered multiplied, accompanied by COVID-related funding that brought many new outreach personnel into the workforce. Simultaneous to this increase in unsheltered homelessness has been a growing need for trauma-informed approaches to safety and security. Health centers routinely lose staff when they feel their physical and emotional safety is at risk. But the considerations for maintaining safety in direct service differ in the street outreach setting and have more to do with skills and philosophy than investing in security personnel, for example. This webinar recording attempts to train the new street outreach workforce (within the confines of one hour) in core competencies for promoting safety.

Resource Topic: Special and Vulnerable Populations

Resource Subtopic: Patient Engagement.

Keywords: Communication, Transparency, and Outreach, Outreach, Persons Experiencing Homelessness, Policies and Procedures.

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $6,625,000 with 0 percentage financed with non-governmental sources. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS, or the U.S. Government. For more information, please visit HRSA.gov.