About Street Outreach
We believe in the inherent value of all people, regardless of their status. Street Outreach strives to improve the safety of marginalized individuals and work to lessen the harmful impacts of homelessness within the local community.
Why do we need Street Outreach?
Unsheltered community members face a variety of challenges. While much attention is rightly paid to the dangers of being outside during the San Luis Valley’s severe winters, being unsheltered can also make it more difficult to address basic needs ranging from food and hygiene to medical concerns, let alone navigating the housing process. The role of Street Outreach is to foster connections and to help individuals and families begin to engage with resources both within La Puente and within the greater community. However, all of this begins with establishing relationships based on genuine interest in and concern for the people with whom we work.
How do we meet the need?
Aiding individuals in accessing the resources they need is simple in theory yet more complex in practice. It is easy to make promises to those in need, but the detail-oriented work of navigating bureaucracy can feel discouraging for individuals who do not have a reliable phone number or a straightforward method for keeping track of ID or other important documents. These difficulties are compounded by the reality that many individuals have been promised help before and have often been let down. Such obstacles are one reason why Street Outreach focuses first and foremost on relationship building; the trust built between Street Outreach and clients is what we lean on together when setbacks occur. Like any relationship, this process takes time, sincerity, and consistency. The Street Outreach Team sees people as people first, and we find that doing so naturally leads to individuals seeking out and taking responsibility for the longer-term support and goal-setting they may need or desire.
The Street Outreach team utilize the following objectives and activities to maintain program goals:
- Relationship building Community Outreach (providing the education that can lead to awareness and involvement)
- Supplies Distribution
- Creating a safe space for individuals to feel confident enough to express their needs and offer their skills
- Resource Connection
- Creating and building upon partnerships with external organizations and local community members
- Bridging service gaps
What can I do to help?
1. Donate goods!
- Pop-top cans of protein (like Spam or Beanie Weenies)
- Cases of water or Gatorade
- Clothing/shoes in good condition
- New socks, underwear, & bras
- Hygiene items
- First-aid Supplies
- Camping supplies in good condition
- Gift cards
2. Lend a hand!
We invite folks to join us when we hand out supplies. If interested in serving, please contact La Puente’s Volunteer Coordination office at 719-587-3499 for more information.
3. Give Financially!
There are a number of items that are needed for our unsheltered that help make a big difference like propane and other fuel sources. We welcome any and all monetary donations as well.