We take the time to get to know the women we serve during street outreaches, where we provide clothing, shampoo, conditioner, feminine hygiene supplies and other basic necessities of life.
But what is outreach exactly?
It’s when an agency goes “out” into the street to “reach” their target population, instead of having people come to them at their offices.
Street outreach is the main way Street Safe reaches women on the street.
Different organizations do different things during their outreaches. Some groups hold a picnic every six months. Other groups hand out bottled water at parks.
We’ve found that reaching women on the street requires two types of outreaches:
During driving outreach, we roam around Albuquerque in our sketchy, dark minivan and stop to say hi when we see women who are likely doing dates or on the street.
We offer them chocolate (yep, we are strangers who stop and give out candy from a van) and the Bad Guy List, then get them supplies such as underwear and pads.
The goal of driving outreach is the three M’s: Missing, Messages and Meetings. We look for women who have been listed as missing. We deliver messages to women about their housing applications or upcoming appointments. And we make it a point to meet women we haven’t had contact with before.
Our Covid outreach — where we hand out face masks and partner with medical providers to do vaccines — is this type of outreach.
During stationary outreach, we pick a spot on a street curb and stay put.
This allows us to put out bins of clothing, which is something we can’t do during driving outreach.
It also is a time for the women to fill out housing applications, work with medical and legal experts, and get information on other resources.
Our Friday night outreach, which we have been doing for more than a decade, is this type of outreach.