The homeless outreach team engages individuals who are living on the streets and are experiencing homelessness. Outreach efforts consist of but are not limited to sharing information on homeless resources, encampment assessments, vulnerability assessments, distribution of blankets, water, fruit, and warming supplies, and working with the community and sister agencies to ensure the wellbeing of people experiencing homelessness. Outreach connects vulnerable individuals to housing resources within the Coordinated Entry System and outreach workers engage individuals and recommend ways to secure their personal belongings as they continue to navigate the housing process and strive toward stable and safe housing.
Comprehensive Street Outreach Network
The Comprehensive Street Outreach Network provides strategic support to individuals living on the street or in locations not fit for human habitation. The Network engages unaccompanied adults who are unsheltered to provide case management that facilitates connections to shelter and housing supports, public benefits, physical and behavioral health care, harm reduction interventions, and other resources.
Network Coverage and Hours of Operation
DHS has divided the District into three geographic clusters representing approximately the equivalent number of unsheltered individuals. DHS selected three grantees to provide services, one in each cluster: Miriam's Kitchen, Pathways to Housing DC, and Community Connections. These service providers work closely with DHS and other agency partners such as the Department of Behavioral Health. Outreach services are available Monday - Friday, 9:00 AM - 11:00 PM.
Accessing The Network
Outreach providers are accessible through the following numbers:
- If you see someone outside in need of shelter or a welfare check, call the Shelter Hotline at (202) 399-7093 or dial 311. The shelter hotline is open every day from 8 AM - 12 AM. During hypothermia season (November 1 - April 15), the shelter hotline is open 24 hours a day. Transportation to shelter and welfare checks are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week during the hypothermia season.
- If you see someone experiencing a psychiatric emergency, trauma, or showing signs of a mental health crisis or substance use disorder, call the DC Department of Behavioral Health Community Response Team at (888) 7WE-HELP or (888) 793-4357.
- If there is an immediate risk to safety, call 911.
For more information, view and download the Comprehensive Street Outreach Network one-pager.