Creating Lasting Impact Through Targeted Outreach and Services
Connecting individuals and families experiencing homelessness to the benefits and services they need is challenging. In addition to their permanent housing needs, among certain very vulnerable groups, the effort it can take to track down birth certificates, apply for Social Security benefits, and receive adequate health services can be daunting.
Connecting People Experiencing Homelessness with Services and Resources
Sacramento Steps Forward works with its partners to conduct Neighborhood Connect – a neighborhood-centered outreach effort and resource fair specifically tailored to the needs of a group of individuals experiencing homelessness in a specific area.
Neighborhood Connect gives local businesses and residents the opportunity to become a part of the effort to end homelessness right where they live. SSF works with the neighbors, community groups, businesses, emergency services providers, law enforcement, and other stakeholders to identify hot-spots and develop a game plan for matching people with services appropriate to their needs. In addition, because the outreach and service fairs are so focused, SSF and its partners can closely track results.
Neighborhood Connect replaces Homeless Connect, an annual event aimed at bringing local homeless services providers, community volunteers, and people experiencing homelessness together for a single-day, one-stop-shop style resource event. While this model is used nationally and has been successful in Sacramento, we believe that a more geographically specific, neighborhood-based approach will better ensure that our community’s most vulnerable residents receive appropriate housing and services. Neighborhood Connects will be held several times a year in locations throughout Sacramento.
Neighborhood Connect’s success depends on community support. To volunteer for upcoming Neighborhood Connect events, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Neighborhood Connect Results
Alhambra Corridor (June 2015)
In June, 2015, SSF navigators spent two weeks conducting targeted outreach along the Alhambra Corridor (E to X Streets, 28th to Alhambra, including McKinley, Marshall, and Winn Parks, Safeway, Rite-Aid, and the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op). Navigators contacted 85 individuals and conducted full needs assessments for 56 of them. The navigators’ findings were shared with the surrounding neighborhoods at a meeting at Clunie Center on June 18, 2015, and are discussed in the slideshow (PDF) linked below.
On June 20, 2015, Trinity Cathedral hosted the Neighborhood Connect resource fair. SSF, homeless services providers, community partners along with 40 volunteers worked to match the individuals contacted during the outreach period with health, nutrition, housing, and employment services. Of the 85 individuals contacted during outreach, 41 attended the fair. The final report, with data up until the report’s publication, is linked below.