Have you ever wondered what you can do to help someone that is panhandling? Who should you call if you are worried about someone sleeping in a car? When the temperature plummets and winter arrives, who can people experiencing homelessness turn to when they need help finding a safe place to stay and a way to come in from the cold to stable housing? Call The Outreach Team!
The St. Stephen’s Street Outreach Team helps people experiencing homelessness find the housing and services they need to end their homelessness and improve their lives. They serve people experiencing homelessness who sleep outside, in their cars, abandoned buildings, and in other places not meant for human habitation. They also provide drop-in hours for clients Monday through Friday between the hours of 9am and 11am. Teams of two canvass the streets from 9am to 9pm Tuesday through Friday and Monday and Saturday from 9am to 5pm. The Team connects people to available rental housing, supportive housing, community resources, emergency shelters, drop-in centers, food shelves, and meal sites. For those that who cannot find suitable shelter, St. Stephen’s Human Services provides emergency gear, builds their trust by checking on their welfare, and helps them to find safe housing and the services needed to stay in their housing. Recently, the Street Outreach Team has been spending time getting to know the 5th Precinct Day Beat Officers, Crime Prevention Specialist Chelsea Adams, and new Community Attorney Nicole Appelbaum. This collaboration has allowed for discussion and problem solving around homelessness and panhandling in the 5th Precinct.
What can you do if you are worried about someone who may be homeless or is panhandling and they approach you?
Acknowledge the person (smile, nod, say hello, or wish them the best).
If you are comfortable speaking to them, give them information about the Street Outreach Team.
Call the Outreach Team and leave a message anytime at 612-879-7624 (Put this number in your cell phone!)
The Team is available Tuesday-Friday: 9am-9pm, and Monday & Saturday: 9am-5pm
Assess safety of the situation: Is this person an immediate danger to themselves or others? If so, call 911 immediately.
Want more information? Go to http://ststephensmpls.org