Friendship Place canvases the street to connect with men and women experiencing homelessness. We reach out to them where they are; be it the street, or places like parks, storefronts, and church parking lots.
Our Specialists provide outreach services throughout the week and focus on the hardest-to-serve i.e. those who have been on the streets for an extended period of time, who have mental health and/or substance abuse issues, and who are disconnected from public health systems (or CoC).
Our aim in outreach is two-fold:
(1) To ensure the immediate safety and comfort of the individuals encountered:
- The Street Outreach staff provide food, water, blankets, warm clothing, toiletries, and information about hypothermia shelters (during the winter), cooling stations (during the summer), soup kitchens, and other places where immediate needs can be met. If needed, they can arrange transportation to shelters.
(2) To encourage the individual to accept additional services that facilitate long-term, lasting change (getting benefits, housing, treatment for medical for addiction, mental health issues, etc.):
- Specialists are equipped with laptops and can function as a mobile drop-in center to help individuals obtain vital documents (such as birth certificates, ID, and Social Security cards) that are needed to access services ranging from Food Stamps to substance abuse treatment programs. Individuals can then pick up these items from our Welcome Center, where we can further engage with them to build a relationship of trust and develop a plan to improve their lives.
In 2020, Friendship Place served 137 individuals through Street Outreach, meeting their immediate needs and connecting them to services. Friendship Place’s Youth Outreach program served an additional 186 individuals in 2020.
Who We Serve
The Street Outreach program focuses on helping individuals experiencing homelessness across the District of Columbia. Our Outreach Specialists spend a majority of their time on the streets actively searching for individuals who need help.
To receive help from the Street Outreach program, please call 202.364.1419 or visit our Welcome Center located at 4713 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20016.