Programs that provide basic personal services and supplies for low income individuals, homeless people, travellers and other individuals who do not have a local permanent address and who do not have access to private facilities or materials for grooming, baggage storage, cooking, communications and other basic needs.
Programs that provide transportation services for homeless people from the streets to a local shelter with available space, either from a established pick-up site or by appointment from the individual’s current location. Also included are programs that provide transportation between shelters or to and from medical clinics, detoxification facilities, public assistance offices and other local service providers.
Programs that provide comprehensive assessment, ongoing case management, work readiness, job training, job development, job placement services, post-placement follow-up and/or supportive services that are tailored to the specific needs of homeless individuals who need assistance preparing for, finding and retaining paid employment. Many programs specifically target outreach and enrollment efforts on homeless individuals or specific groups within the homeless population (e.g., homeless veterans, homeless youth, homeless individuals with serious mental illness, permanent supportive housing residents); and some partner with other organizations working with people who are homeless such as local mental health agencies; one-stop career centres; community-based nonprofit vocational rehabilitation agencies; case management organizations; housing agencies; and the local public housing authority.
Programs that help people who are homeless because they have become estranged from their families establish contact with their families. The program may also, where appropriate, help them negotiate the conditions under which they can return to their families and arrange for transportation home.
Programs that are staffed by outreach workers who spend time with people who live on the street, build relationships with them, identify and address their immediate needs (e.g., crisis intervention, food, clean clothing, hygiene kits, blankets, someone to listen) and provide information about and linkage to longer-term forms of support such as shelter, counselling, drug and alcohol detoxification and rehabilitation, care/case management and, where applicable, family reunification services. Street outreach programs may be staffed by volunteers or peers who were formerly homeless; and may target special populations such as homeless youth at risk for sexual abuse or exploitation, veterans, or people with specific medical or mental health conditions, or be available to the larger homeless population.
Programs based on a harm reduction model that provide a safe and supportive environment which allows individuals who use drugs and/or alcohol to drop in and access multiple related services including group and individual counselling, day beds, showers, clothing, medical care, needle exchanges, sterile injection equipment and overdose prevention training, as well as information and referral, social activities and snacks. The programs may be structured for specific populations such as women or sex trade workers or be open to all.
Programs that provide an alternative, non-residential environment that people with any of a variety of issues can visit on an informal basis to find mutual support and access to social and recreational activities. People can drop by whenever they like without the need to make an appointment and have the option of participating in whatever activities are currently underway.
Programs that provide facilities where a wide variety of services are made available to the community.
Organizations that support measures that address the needs of people who are, or are at risk of becoming, homeless including the need for shelter, transitional housing, permanent housing, medical care and basic human rights.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.