Outreach Services

Outreach services are activities used to engage persons for the purpose of providing immediate support and intervention, as well as identifying potential program participants. Outreach services may include initial assessment; crisis counseling; addressing urgent physical needs, such as providing meals, blankets, clothes, or toiletries; and actively connecting and providing people with information and referrals to homeless and mainstream programs.

Which HHS programs might be used to provide these services?

Health Care for the Homeless Programs and Community Health Centers

In addition to primary care and some behavioral health services, Health Care for the Homeless (HCH) programs provides outreach services to assist difficult-to-reach homeless persons in accessing care, while Community Health Centers provide health services to persons who are underserved and face barriers to accessing health services. Partnership at the State and local level with both Health Care for the Homeless Program and Community Health Centers play a crucial role in ensuring that people experiencing homelessness receive necessary healthcare. Health Care for the Homeless programs are targeted to persons who are homeless and local programs are encouraged to participate in the local CoC planning process.  The first step for any Continuum should be to reach out to any HCH program in its jurisdiction and connect to current services.

Who is eligible?

Individuals and families who are literally homeless as well as those living in hotels or motels, transitional housing, or permanent supportive housing.

How is it financed?

These programs receive grant funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) as well as a grant under Section 330 of the Public Health Service Act, qualifying them as Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs). FQHCs must serve an underserved area or population, offer a sliding fee scale, provide comprehensive services, have an ongoing quality assurance program, and have a governing board of directors. In addition, they receive Medicaid reimbursement for some of the services they provide to people who are enrolled in Medicaid.

Where can I find a local HCH provider with which to partner?

Healthcare for the Homeless Providers

Where can I find a local Community Health Center with which to partner?

Find a Health Center

PATH (Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness)

PATH eligible services include outreach, screening and diagnostic services, as well as a range of other behavioral health and case management services.

Who is eligible?

Individuals determined to be experiencing serious mental illness or co-occurring serious mental illness and substance abuse disorder; and (2) experiencing homelessness or at imminent risk of homelessness.

How is it financed?

PATH is administered by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). PATH is a formula grant provided to all 50 States, the District of Columbia, and US territories, and allocated to more than 500 local organizations. PATH programs are administered by the State.  State mental health authorities select providers, usually through a competitive process.  PATH providers are encouraged to participate in the local CoC process and all PATH providers are in the process of transitioning data and reporting practices to participate in HMIS.

Where can I find a local PATH provider with which to partner?


Community Services Block Grant (CSBG)

CSBG funding is used to provide a broad range of services and activities to reduce poverty. In most cases, CSBG funds are allocated to Community Action Agencies (CAAs).  Contact the local Community Action Agency to identify partnership opportunities and get more information about how local CSBG funds are allocated.

Who is eligible? 

Individuals or families as determined by the Federal poverty guidelines released annually by HHS up to 125 percent of poverty

How is it financed?

CSBG funding is provided as a block grant to States, tribes and territories.  States pass through no less than 90 percent of block grant funds to a network of local entities, primarily Community Action Agencies (CAAs), and some local governments, migrant and seasonal farm worker organizations, that delivery the services in the communities.  CAAs are non-profit agencies created as a network of entities by the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964.  States contract with CAAs to plan, develop, implement, evaluate and provide local services. 

How can I apply for CSBG funding?

2014 CSBG Funding Application

Where can I find local CSBG grantees with which to partner?

CSBG Grantees by State

Community Action Agencies by State and County

Social Services Block Grant (SSBG)

Social Services Block Grant (SSBG) funding supports social services directed towards achieving economic self-sufficiency; preventing or remedying neglect, abuse, or the exploitation of children and adults; preventing or reducing inappropriate institutionalization; and securing referral for institutional care, where appropriate. 

Who is eligible? 

Each State or territory has the flexibility to determine what services (within the broad service categories) will be provided; set the eligibility limits (to low-income households) to receive services; and determine how funds are distributed among various services within the State.

How is it financed?

SSBG funding is allocated to each State or territory to meet the needs of its residents through locally relevant social services, through programs that help people to achieve or maintain economic self-sufficiency to prevent, reduce or eliminate dependency on social services.

How can I apply for SSBG funding?

SSBG Grantees – How to Apply

Where can I find local SSBG grantees with which to partner?

SSBG Grantees by State

For more information, http://www.nhchc.org/resources/clinical/tools-and-support/outreach/ provides resources, guidelines, and info about doing outreach.