As a peer support specialist for the new Homeless Outreach Program, we see how homelessness has affected the hundreds of men and women we encounter on the streets. Our program prides itself on low barrier standards, making it more accessible for our clients.
We continue to have 24 overnight shelter beds at the men’s campus and 24 overnight beds at the women’s campus to give the homeless a safe place to stay each night. What makes the Homeless Outreach Program different is that we received a grant from Louisville Metro Government for 12 beds where clients can stay for up to a year.
With each bed, we provide a safe and stable environment for clients to be able to get back on their feet. So far, we have been very successful in filling our 12 beds and continue to reach out offering our overnight shelter as well. As of right now, the Homeless Outreach Program does have a waiting list, so we hope to be able to add more beds next year.
In the Homeless Outreach Program, we offer help with our many resources through the community. Our team of case managers and peer support specialists help the clients get government IDs, state insurance, housing, and employment. We also develop a case management plan with the goal of helping the client transition into permanent housing and independence.
When we started this pilot program in September, I had expectations that getting clients into the program would be easy – that they would be willing and ready to come in and get help. What we quickly realized is that most people who are living on the streets are there because they want to be and they’re okay with their current situation.
I am one of four peer support specialists who are on the streets working with the homeless in our community. All of us can relate to what these men and women are going through. We each have our own history with homelessness. For me personally, working in the Homeless Outreach Program has allowed me to see how far I have come in the past three years in working through my own homelessness, addiction, and alcoholism. This motivates me every day to do everything I can to help those who are on the streets any way I can.
Being able to relate to the client and understanding what they are going through is what motivates me to continue showing up and offering a loving, understanding, and compassionate hand up to anyone in need.
The Healing Place provides those in our Homeless Outreach Program with clothing, hygiene items, and other essentials like towels and bedding. If you would like to help those who are in this program, you can purchase items off our Amazon Wish List and have them shipped directly to our facility.