What We Do Homeless Street Outreach
Pathways to Housing DC oversees the largest homeless street outreach effort in the District, funded through partnerships with the DowntownDC and Golden Triangle Business Improvement Districts, the DC Department of Behavioral Health, and the DC Department of Human Services. The goal of our street outreach program is to use a client center approach in order to connect people living on the street with housing and the life saving services they need.
In 2018, our outreach teams served 1,872 unduplicated people over with 12,428 individual face-to-face contacts. Our teams completed thousands of housing assessments, helped hundreds of people obtain vital documents required as prerequisites for housing, and connected hundreds more to mental and physical healthcare services.
Our Outreach staff works to build trust with those experiencing homelessness first by helping to meet some of their basic needs (including food, clothing, showers, laundry, transportation, identification, etc.). Then, they partner with each individual to access housing, employment, medical care, mental health care, substance abuse treatment, and other services. Additionally, our nurse practitioner and psychiatrist conduct street visits to engage people with complex health needs who are not connected to other health services. The approach is not about maintaining homelessness; it is about ending homelessness for those living on the street in downtown DC.
The Outreach team also responds to concerns about people experiencing homelessness in the area from police, other social service providers, business owners, workers, residents, and downtown visitors.
To refer someone who is homeless and in need of assistance in the DowntownDC Business Improvement District, you may contact the DowntownDC BID Dispatch at [email protected] or 202-624-1550.
To refer someone who is homeless in the Golden Triangle Business Improvement District, you may contact the Golden Triangle BID Dispatch at [email protected] or 202-293-9580.
Pathways Never Gave Up On Me
Anthony is a reminder of the power of second chances. As a teenager, he was introduced to drugs and used marijuana, cocaine, and eventually crack to deal with undiagnosed mental illness. After being sent to prison for possession, he saw a psychiatrist and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. When Anthony was released, his conviction made it nearly impossible to find employment, and he soon became homeless. After several years on the streets, he found housing through #PathwaysDC. Pathways staff helped him stay sober and deal with the trauma of incarceration. Anthony shared, “I think about how fortunate I am, how many chances I had,” he said. “I was so blessed. Pathways came into my life and helped me turn it around when things were looking pretty bad.” Anthony is a living example that people can thrive when you do not give up on them.