Who We Serve Housing & Recovery Resources
If you see someone who is in immediate physical or mental distress, please call 911. Don’t assume that someone else is going to call so please take the initiative to help the person in crisis.
Mental Health Crises
If you see someone who is homeless and having a mental health crisis you can direct them to any one of the city’s community hospitals. They will evaluate the person and give them mental health treatment as needed. If the person is not interested in going to the hospital or doesn’t have the ability to go on their own but you still have concerns about their welfare, you may call the Department of Behavioral Health’s Access HelpLine at 1-888-793-4357, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week so that a crisis team can respond. Some of the behaviors you may observe include screaming, provoking others, threatening to hurt themselves or someone else, feelings of extreme depression, exposing themself, dressing inappropriately for the weather, acting or gesturing erratically, or walking in traffic. Other crisis situations may also include the inability to meet basic needs for safety and physical health: extremely poor hygiene, lice/bugs, refusing to eat/drink fluids, extreme weight loss.
Non-emergency Medical or Psychiatric Assistance
If you see someone who needs medical or psychiatric assistance but there is no immediate danger to the homeless individual or others around them, then you may call the Department of Behavioral Health’s Homeless Outreach program (202-673-9124) to get them the help that they may need. The outreach team will come out and assess the person for intervention and assistance. Be prepared to describe the reason for your call and to provide a good description of the person. This includes where the individual is located, clothes they are wearing, personal demographics, unique characteristics, and the person’s name (if known).
How Pathways Helped Restore David's Eyesight and Hope
David was homeless in and around Bethesda for almost 30 years, living in the woods for most of that time. Constantly on the move, David survived by panhandling, dumpster diving, and selling scrap metal. David’s untreated cataracts finally caught up with him and he completely lost his eyesight. David felt his way, mostly by memory, to the panhandling and dumpster-diving spots that he knew before going blind. A homeless outreach worker connected David to a Pathways case worker, who took him to a doctor who offered to operate to restore David’s sight, for free! David was able to see again for the first time in years. In October, David moved into his own apartment. Having his sight back and a home of his own has made all the difference in David’s life.