The Stanislaus County Outreach and Engagement Team hit the streets of Riverbank last Friday morning, Sept. 18 to assist the homeless individuals. Vice Mayor Luis Uribe contacted the group to aid the less fortunate after volunteering with Christian Food Sharing earlier this month. The team visited several locations in Riverbank including the Scout Hall, St. Frances of Rome Church, and Jacob Myers Park to engage with the homeless.
“I spoke to ten of our homeless and the feedback I received from them was valuable,” said Uribe. “I immediately contacted Kyle DeJesus to set up a visit from their Outreach Team. I think it's important that we be proactive and continue to build relationships and trust with our homeless.”
The team consisted of the following agencies: Behavioral Health and Recovery Services (BHRS), Community Services Agency (CSA), Center for Human Services (CHS), Golden Valley Health Center (GVHC), Telecare Outreach, and Turning Point Community Programs (TPCP) Housing Assessment Team (HAT).
According to Housing and Supportive Services Manager with Stanislaus County Community Services Agency DeJesus, they contacted 14 individuals this past Friday.
“All homeless individuals engaged were offered services for housing, shelter, mental health, substance use treatment, public benefits assistance, and medical services,” stated DeJesus. “Resource flyers, business cards, and hygiene kits (snacks, water, hand sanitizer, face masks, socks, and feminine hygiene products) were distributed to all individuals engaged including those who were not interested in accepting services at this time.”
The group visited other areas that were suggested but they did not encounter anyone in need. After having a meeting this past Monday, the team has committed to visiting Riverbank every third Friday of each month between 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. The next outreach will be held on Friday, Oct. 16.
“Many thanks to Lynda, Betty, Vinny, and the rest of the Riverbank Christian Food Sharing staff for their hospitality and assistance with this effort,” remarked DeJesus.
The Outreach and Engagement Center (OEC) was created to help homeless individuals by providing assistance with housing, assessments, referrals, and a variety of homelessness services available in Stanislaus County.
“The county really impressed me with their entire process from beginning to end,” added Uribe. “I want to thank Kyle and the entire team that came out and welcome them back. Anytime any of our homeless neighbors are receiving help is a good day.”