Since 2017, Friendship Shelter has employed street outreach staff to engage, assess, and assist as many homeless individuals as possible. Our team helps provide access to basic services to meet their needs, including shelter and housing connections, sack lunches, physical, mental and behavioral healthcare, transportation, social services, and individualized case management. The program coordinates closely with our shelter and housing staff as well as with local police and other south Orange County service providers for direct referrals into shelter and/or housing based on their vulnerability.
Street outreach is conducted in the downtown business district of Laguna Beach – an area that includes a significant portion of south Orange County’s chronically homeless population.
Referrals for Friendship Shelter’s Street Outreach program are currently accepted from individuals (including self-referrals), organizations, and government agencies. Our outreach workers directly receive and respond to all referrals as quickly as possible.
Together, our programs and collaborative partnerships provide a full continuum of integrated, coordinated services from initial engagement to housing services. Our outreach team regularly provides referrals to other resources and services that will help end homelessness and address critical needs. Whenever possible, our outreach workers personally connect the individuals they meet with a representative from a partner organization. Additionally, we make internal referrals to our own programs including shelter, housing, and benefits assistance.