One of the strengths of Castro Cares is that we are small, local and able to change our service model if we learn of new strategies. We’re excited to announce that we’re pivoting! Yes, we’re pivoting away from traditional homeless outreach to intensive homeless outreach and tight or “warm” referrals. Through a unique collaboration with the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, we’ll be hiring a homeless outreach worker for the Castro & Upper Market to connect with people living on the street, build relationships, connect them with services and support them as they identify and work towards their goals for recovery. “We are looking forward to deepening our work with people who are experiencing homelessness or are marginally housed in the Castro, and at increased risk for HIV and hepatitis C. By working with Castro Cares, we will be able to draw upon our experience with homeless encampment outreach and link people to the health services, basic needs, assistance programs, and social support they crucially need.” – Mike Discepola, MA, Senior Director of Behavioral Health Services & Stonewall Project, San Francisco AIDS Foundation.
In addition to the new intensive outreach worker, Castro Cares will also be a strong advocate to the city, ensuring that citywide services not only don’t overlook the Castro, but put a special emphasis on the Castro & Upper Market. For example, we will soon be holding a meeting with the new S.F. Healthy Streets Initiative to ensure that the Castro & Upper Market receives these critical services and resources, AND we will be coordinating the Patrol Special Police with the Healthy Streets Initiative, building a close collaborative effort and ensuring all resources are communicating and working together. Our goal is to support those in need and to address the community concerns related to those living on the street and not interested in support and assistance.
Castro Cares is funded by a city of S.F. Invest in Neighborhoods grant and donations from merchants and residents, go here to make a donation.