During each month, Housing Assistance’s Homeless Outreach staff works with roughly 25 to 40 homeless individuals at a time. While their work is critical throughout the year, it is even more important during the winter months when frigid temperatures can pose serious health risks to the homeless.
Outreach workers partner closely with several agencies, including Vinfen, Duffy Health Center, Cape Cod Hospital, the Barnstable Police Department Community Impact Unit and other local police departments, to keep homeless individuals safe, with the goal of moving them off the streets and into permanent housing. Our staff also works closely with Catholic Social Services which manages St. Joseph’s House in Hyannis, the only emergency shelter for homeless individuals on Cape Cod, to help clients search and apply for housing opportunities both on and off-Cape.
Our outreach team provides an array of services to address clients’ most urgent needs, while also supporting them to pursue the services they need to achieve more stability.
This winter, Housing Assistance is partnering with Vinfen and Duffy to provide a warming center for homeless individuals in Hyannis three days a week. It gives clients an opportunity to come inside and connect with caseworkers to get housed and access supportive services, including health insurance and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). During extremely cold or inclement weather, there is a program in place to temporarily house homeless clients in area hotels.
Our team also seeks out homeless people who may not come in for services. Every morning, Outreach Specialist Patty Alonso will load her car up with hats, socks, gloves, and hand warmers to give to clients who may be living in their cars or in camps in the woods.