Meeting the homeless where they are.

First Stop’s Outreach Team is dedicated to reaching unhoused individuals right where they are, ensuring access to our services for those unable to visit our day center. This includes individuals facing accessibility challenges, severe health conditions, or mental illness hindering their ability to travel.

Establishing trust and building relationships are foundational to our approach in guiding individuals towards independent, sustainable living. That’s why our Outreach Team conducts weekly visits to homeless encampments with partner organizations, maintaining consistent contact and fostering constructive relationships with camp residents. With years of experience and specialized training, our team members are adept at engaging with the homeless community.

While Huntsville boasts a caring and generous community offering resources and programs to support the homeless, addressing the deeper challenges requires more than just external assistance. Many individuals in homeless camps have endured significant trauma, abuse, and neglect, often grappling with complex physical and mental health issues, as well as substance use disorders. Building trust with these individuals, who may be distrustful of agencies and authorities, is essential to providing the help and support they desperately need to regain hope and motivation to change their circumstances.

Our Outreach Team performs 5 critical functions:

Meet Immediate Needs– Our Outreach Team gives basic aid and delivers care packs filled with critically needed items to those living in encampments.

Gather Important Information– We gather crucial data on camp population, locations, and the health and living conditions of residents to better understand and respond to their needs effectively.

Educate– Our team informs camp residents about First Stop’s services and invites them to visit our Day Center for additional support and resources.

Mobile Case Management– We offer mobile case management services, assisting with vital records, scheduling appointments, facilitating emergency mental health care, and assessing and connecting individuals with programs and services.

Substance Use Services– Our Substance Use Service Coordinator, an integral part of our Outreach Team, provides resources, information, and support for camp residents seeking assistance with Substance Use Disorder treatment or recovery services.

Homeless Outreach Initiative

The Homeless Outreach Initiative is a collaborative effort administered by the City of Huntsville that plays a pivotal role in supporting individuals experiencing homelessness. This dedicated team comprises members from various organizations, including Community Development, Huntsville Police Department (HPD), WellStone, R.O.S.S., and First Stop. Together, they work tirelessly to provide collaborative, targeted support to individuals in the camps and streets.

Our Outreach Team is proud to work with this interdisciplinary team to provide comprehensive support and resources to those living in the encampments.

In my experience, helping homeless persons starts with consistently building trusting relationships – encouraging them to believe they truly can move to better living situations with the help of First Stop and partner agency services.

How can you help?

First Stop maintains an inventory of items to supply the Outreach Teams each week. Visit our updated Needs List to see which items we need the most.