BECAUSE NO ONE SHOULD HAVE TO sleep OUTSIDE.
631-464-4314 X 118
Our objective is permanent housing.
The LICH Street Outreach Team is dedicated to supporting people living on the street in plans where they can successfully transition from living on the street into permanent housing.
Our team covers all of Nassau and Suffolk and works directly with people living in parks, wooded areas, vehicles, at train stations, inside abandoned homes and buildings, and other places not meant for human habitation.
In the past year, the Street Outreach Team moved 61 single adults off the streets and directly into permanent housing. Of those 61 single adults, that had been living on the street from 2-20 years before working with LICH and obtaining housing. This equals a regional cost savings of at least $2,745,000 between various emergency services (one year).
HOW YOU CAN HELP:
If you know of someone living outdoors, leave a message for the Street Outreach Team at 631-464-4314 x 118.
Both counties also have a community response/emergency line for people living on the street. Suffolk: 631-854-9100. Nassau: 516-573-8626.
Participate in the Continuum of Care Street Outreach Committee monthly meetings.
Volunteer for the annual homeless count that occurs each January and assist our outreach team in finding anyone living on the streets and collecting information for our Outreach Team to follow up with them to work on permanent housing placement.
Donate to help support Street Outreach efforts. Currently, LICH only has dedicated funding for two full-time Street Outreach workers- charged with working with an estimated 350-450 people living on the street at any time, across all areas of Nassau and Suffolk. Due to the complexity of service needs, LICH is currently able to directly work with and support approximately only 45-60 people living on the street at a time, out of the projected 350-450 living on the streets on Long Island at any given time.
Our street outreach program uses the following evidence-based practices and approaches, that are proven to be most effective. This includes:
-Meeting people where they are at
-Using person-centered approaches and active listening
-Assertive engagement and motivational interviewing
-Targeting outreach to people and communities least likely to be connected to resources, and least likely to exit homelessness on their own
-Connecting people to permanent housing that uses a "Housing First" approach
-Providing critical time intervention during the period of transition from moving from the street to permanent housing
-Providing transportation to remove the barrier of having access to medical care and necessary medical/disability documentation, getting to housing intakes, and other events that directly lead to housing placement
-Prioritization of scarce housing resources for those that are homeless longest, disabled, and most vulnerable
-"By-Name List" tracking of all people living on the street to create individualized outreach and housing plans
The majority of outreach programs focus on distributing essential items such as food, hygiene products and warm clothing/blankets. Some also offer immediate access to "go inside" to emergency shelter.
As homeless advocates, what we know, and what we are told by people living on the street is that outreach programs carrying out these objectives are successful in treating people with dignity, having a community response, and providing items that meet basic needs to get someone through the day.
The problem is that many of these programs do not successfully connect people to permanent housing that meets their service needs and preferences. The harsh reality is that many outreach programs only meet immediate and short-term needs, which allow people to survive longer on the street, but do not often lead to permanent housing and people exiting homelessness.
This is why we are committed to our Street Outreach program and designed it in a way that works best for the people we support and leads to long term results, where people move to a safe, permanent places to live and no longer endure living on the street, desperately trying to survive each day.
People who experience homelessness overwhelmingly have experienced significant trauma, often dating back to when they were children. People experiencing homelessness, particularly those living on the street are highly vulnerable (often victims of crimes and harassment while on the street) with extremely complex medical issues and deteriorating health. In almost all cases, those we support living on the street would not have become homeless, or remained homeless as long if better community response systems were in place and prioritized, both with funding and community/political will.