Street Outreach helps find warmth for the homeless this holiday season
Home for the holidays…we hear it from family, friends, and co-workers. Whether it’s welcoming guests into our home or going to someone’s house for a visit, at holiday time our thoughts turn to home.
However for many in Oswego County home for the holidays is simply a wish. With another cold winter under way and the holidays just around the corner, OCO Homeless Services is working to offer comfort to those that are homeless.
One of the most impactful aspects of OCO Homeless Services is its Street Outreach program. “The staff of our Street Outreach program canvass our communities at night in search of teens or adults that may be homeless,” explained Continuum of Care Program Manager for OCO Homeless Services Jill Griffey. “We let them know OCO can help. We can provide them with food and clothing and help connect them to emergency shelter. We also offer additional support and help them connect with other series that OCO and other organizations have to assist the homeless.”
One of those services is 211CNY. By dialing 211 callers are able to speak with an advocate that will answer their questions and connect them to a wide range of services. “We are looking to spread the word about 211CNY and educate community members on what a valuable resource 211CNY is,” said Griffey. “If you see someone you suspect is homeless, or know someone who is at risk of becoming homeless, call or text 211. You can also call OCO Homeless Services at 315-342-7618; toll free at 877-342-7618, or text to 315-297-9795. One call or text can make a difference. It just may help someone find a home for the holidays.”
In this photo, Homeless Services Street Outreach program staff prepare to hit the streets to provide assistance to those that are homeless and help them connect with homeless services from OCO and other organizations. From left are Ony Echefy, Wilmer Jimenez, Sara Kiesinger, and Mary Ferry.