The reality for many people who are living in poverty is that homelessness could be one late utility bill, one missed month of rent, or one unexpected medical bill away. Living paycheck to paycheck means every dollar is accounted for before its even earned and it can take just one crisis situation to make a tough situation a dire one.
Outreach Services was started in 1996 after observing that many of the individuals who came through our shelter doors might not have ever become homeless if they had received some assistance to keep them in their homes.
Outreach's mission is to provide homeless prevention services to individuals and families experiencing crisis in the San Luis Valley. In addition to providing veteran, rental, utility, medical, and crisis intervention assistance and advocacy, the Outreach Team works in partnership with individuals to identify and overcome barriers, and restores confidence in order to live self-sufficiently in an economically struggling community.
Outreach services aims to stabilize families on the brink of experiencing homelessness or assist families already experiencing homelessness with reintegration by providing services such as rental, utility, medical, and dental assistance.
Amanda came into Outreach Services seeking assistance with her family's electricity. It was shut off, forcing them out of their home. With the combination of Amanda's dedication, the help of another local non-profit, and Outreach Services the family's electricity was reconnected and they could move back home. Several weeks later, Amanda expressed her gratitude, explaining: "You wouldn't believe how my kids' behavior has changed since we moved home!" With the children back in a stable environment, they were much more relaxed and well-behaved. It is truly a success story when we are able to work collaboratively to help move a family out of a crisis situation and back into a stable home life.
With grant support and the support of individual and group donors, Outreach Services is able to assist community members in a variety of ways:
Provides a wide variety of services to veterans with documented proof of their honorable or OTH discharge status, including medical and non-medical gas vouchers, provisions for their home, interview or work clothing, help with tuition, and job training. Veterans assisted with this grant must have documented proof of their honorable or OTH discharge status either through their DD-214 paperwork or a letter from a V.A.’s office.
Provides community members with assistance at the onset of an eviction notice or on the brink of such a notice. Rental Assistant involves intensive case management as applicants are reviewed and followed up with through the process of working with landlords to secure housing.
Provides assistance with utility bills such as heat, electric, propane, and diesel. We are also able to provide wood to those who need it for fuel.
Provides assistance with immediate medical needs and gas vouchers to get to appointments.
When a community member is needing an ID, birth certificate, etc. Outreach is able to assist in acquiring such documentation.
All the above assistance depends on the availability of funds and resources. When clients' needs are outside the scope of Outreach Services, caseworkers offer referrals to other relevant services throughout the Valley.
In addition to these regularly offered services, Outreach Services also offers a number of special programs. In August, backpacks and school supplies are provided to children heading back to school. In December, Outreach Services coordinates La Puente's Community Christmas Party, complete with gifts for all, food, warm hospitality, and a visit from Santa. The program also gives out Easter baskets to children in need each spring.
Expands the regional safety net of services for individuals and families living off the grid in order to give consideration to health, safety, and general well-being while respecting the choice to live away from society.
Outreach services provides clients and community members with mattresses and firewood on a regular basis. We are always looking for donations of these items so that we can best serve our clients. Outreach also could not do all that we do without the help of individual donors. We utilize individual donations in assisting with crisis intervention and helping clients on the road to self-sufficiency. If you are interested in donating call (719) 587-3781.
Outreach also hosts many community-driven events, such as the annual Christmas Party (above), an event which strives to be able to supply each guest in attendance with "Just One Gift" and a backpack drive in the fall so that Valley children are equipped with school supplies and backpacks for the coming school year. If you are interested in being involved in these events in the future, call (719) 587-3781
Outreach Services Contact
Outreach Service Center
P.O. Box 1235 929 State Ave.
Alamosa, CO 81101
To apply for services, please contact us or stop by the
Outreach Services office at 929 State Avenue.
Current hours are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9 am- 4 pm