The Outreach Portal is designed to assist people experiencing homelessness in the Fredericksburg, VA area with outreach services. We’ll use this information to dispatch a homeless services outreach team to the area.
When should I fill out an outreach request?
Did you see someone experiencing homelessness who needs help? Notice a homeless neighbor who seems to be struggling with their physical and/or mental health? Then you can help them by filling out an outreach request and alert us as to any specific concerns you may have regarding the person’s well-being. As outreach capacity is limited, requests for those with more serious medical and/or mental health needs may be prioritized.
What do outreach workers do?
Outreach workers have many different skills including homeless services navigation, mental health first aid, motivational interviewing, and trauma informed care, among others. Outreach teams start by building a trusting relationship with and determining the needs of people living on the streets. Their efforts can be as simple as helping someone experiencing homelessness get an ID card or as complex as helping to meet medical and mental health needs. But the ultimate goal of outreach services? To help people who are homeless move from the streets into a permanent home.
What do you mean by "homeless"?
While there are different types of homelessness, street-based outreach teams serve those who the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development considers “literally homeless.” This is defined as, “an individual that has a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not meant for human habitation.”
How long does it take a team to respond?
Due to high demand, it may take a few days for an outreach team to be deployed and we may need to prioritize those individuals who are most vulnerable.
How else can I help my homeless neighbors?
Volunteering and donating to organizations serving people experiencing homelessness is a great way to help the cause. Please go to https://www.fredericksburgcoc.org/get-involved/volunteer-or-donate/ for further information on volunteering and/or donating towards ending homelessness.
For medical or mental health emergencies, please call 911.
When should I NOT fill out an outreach request?
If you come across a family with minor children experiencing homelessness, have them call the Helpline.
For medical and mental health emergencies, call 911.
Unfortunately, outreach teams are not able to serve individuals who are couch surfing, temporarily living with friends or family, at risk of homelessness, or already staying in a homeless shelter. As outreach teams focus on street-based services, they cannot perform in-reach to facilities.
How long does it take to help someone?
Some people may require significant time to build trust. Others may be more readily open to help. Regardless, everything we do is in partnership with those we serve, and is done in a way that fosters dignity and self-determination. Until there’s more affordable permanent housing, the process to get people indoors is slower than we would like. The commitment of our outreach teams, combined with expanded housing opportunities, will make a huge difference.
When do outreach workers work?
They usually work during daylight hours due to safety and because this allows outreach workers to connect individuals that are homeless to resources and other critical services like health and mental health services.
Can I get an update on what happened?
If you provide your email address, we will let you know we received your request. We are required by law to protect the privacy of those we serve…therefore we are unable to share updates (unless the client allows us to). However, if you agree to be contacted, we may reach out to you to ask additional questions that will help us locate and connect with the person referred.