Heading Home recently began conducting street outreach activities to facilitate access to the Westside Emergency Housing Center (WEHC). The purpose of WEHC’s outreach team is to engage with individuals on the streets, introduce them to the shelter and encourage them to get off the streets and utilize Heading Home’s supportive services at the WEHC.
The WEHC outreach team is in the field 5 days/week for about 5 hours each day. Based on feedback from the City of Albuquerque and community partners, our team members are strategically placed in different quadrants throughout the city where people experiencing homelessness are congregating. Understanding that some folks might feel apprehensive about approaching a shelter, our team works to build trust with people and ease their concerns.
By sharing images of the WEHC, people can see and learn more about the facility and have a better idea of where they would be staying. Our team also provides lists of helpful resources, such as HopeWorks meal locations and times. In the field, we pass out hygiene kits, donated bus passes when we have them and maps to our shelter pickup locations.
For approximately 3 hours of their day, the WEHC outreach team works at the shelter itself where they provide direct support to guests they brought to the WEHC. They help new guests access pertinent documents such as official identification and birth certificates, connect with community partners such as First Nations and HopeWorks and more.
Thus far, WEHC’s outreach efforts have proven effective and have helped folks who were previously apprehensive feel comfortable about accessing services at the WEHC. For more information about the Westside Emergency Housing Center, click here.