Title

The Poverello Center’s Homeless Outreach Team: Looking Between the Cracks

Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

The Poverello Center provides important services such as emergency shelter, food and clothing to people experiencing homelessness. Yet many people fall between the cracks and are resistant or unable to use the shelter leaving them resigned to life on the streets. The Homeless Outreach Team (HOT), composed of several staff and volunteers, extends the Poverello’s services to people experiencing homelessness on the streets and providing businesses with nonemergency mediation in lieu of police intervention. Using ethnographic field notes describing 60 hours of volunteer service, we analyze how HOT fills an important gap in services for the homeless and business communities of downtown Missoula. Our findings include reasons some people are resistant or unable to use the shelter, the needs of people experiencing street homelessness, and how HOT can be an effective mediator for downtown businesses.

Category

Social Sciences

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Apr 13th, 9:00 AM Apr 13th, 9:20 AM

The Poverello Center’s Homeless Outreach Team: Looking Between the Cracks

UC 327

The Poverello Center provides important services such as emergency shelter, food and clothing to people experiencing homelessness. Yet many people fall between the cracks and are resistant or unable to use the shelter leaving them resigned to life on the streets. The Homeless Outreach Team (HOT), composed of several staff and volunteers, extends the Poverello’s services to people experiencing homelessness on the streets and providing businesses with nonemergency mediation in lieu of police intervention. Using ethnographic field notes describing 60 hours of volunteer service, we analyze how HOT fills an important gap in services for the homeless and business communities of downtown Missoula. Our findings include reasons some people are resistant or unable to use the shelter, the needs of people experiencing street homelessness, and how HOT can be an effective mediator for downtown businesses.