Places for People has a special mission to reach those people are homeless and living with untreated mental illnesses. This population is particularly vulnerable as they typically have the greatest needs—including multiple health, substance abuse, trauma, and other disorders—but are the least likely to seek services.
Typically, they are also very distrustful of others, particularly people who identify themselves as healthcare workers. This fear may be a symptom of an untreated illness and/or negative past experiences with mental healthcare services.
For PfP, homeless outreach requires patience, perserverance, and appropriate timing. When we encounter someone who is homeless and may have a mental illness, we begin by offering to assist with basic needs. We may, for example, offer pocket foods, bus tickets, or coats to address immediate, tangible needs.
We provide links to other resources in the community. Homeless outreach staff's goal is to develop a positive rapport, with a goal of gradually engaging the individual in appropriate services.
Our homeless outreach efforts reflect a core value of the agency—in providing housing first. A guiding principle since our founding and now considered a best practice, housing first is a treatment model where the immediate, basic need for safe, stable housing is established concurrent or even prior to engagement in services. PfP uses its own Emergency Apartments, as well as its extensive relationships with area hotels and landlords, to move someone immediately from homelessness to housing—when outreach has culminated in a person accepting help.
Our homeless outreach efforts benefit greatly each year from our partners who donate many of the items staff use to build rapport. Our ability to offer pocket foods or a coat can truly make the difference between a person receiving help and remaining on the streets.
Between 50-75% of our clients each year come to us from homelessness. We establish housing first as we work to engage our clients in identifying and working towards personal recovery goals.
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The 11th Annual PfP Charity Golf Tournament will be held Friday, September 20, 2013, at Missouri Bluffs Golf Course.
Places for People, Inc. 4130 Lindell BoulevardSt. Louis, MO 63108 Tel: 314.535.5600Get directions to our Recovery Center Campus