Field Safety for Entering Homeless Encampments

Taking a person-centered, respectful and trauma-informed approach is crucial to developing a safety plan that ensures the well-being of both outreach staff and encampment residents. This approach recognizes that people experiencing homelessness are individuals with unique experiences, needs and preferences, and that effective outreach requires tailoring support to meet those specific needs. Through examining their own perceptions of homelessness and understanding the challenges faced by those who are unsheltered, participants will develop a more empathetic and informed approach to outreach efforts. This, in turn, will lead to more successful and sustainable outcomes for both outreach staff and encampment residents.

Topics in this course include:

  • What is a Homeless Encampment? -- Define homelessness and the importance of serving safely, emotionally, and physically
  • Field Workers/Street Outreach Workers History -- Recognize the evolution of outreach practices and approaches and the challenges and impacts of encampments on the community
  • Impacts of Encampments in Our Neighborhood
  • Moving away from stereotypes and stigmatizing language once used when attempting to serve – Focusing on strength-based engagement
  • What is a Trauma Informed Approach?
    • o Reframing the Definition of Homelessness and Encampments
    • o How Can We Help? Illuminating our Full Potential
    • o Creating a Safety Plan for Your Team/Stakeholders/Partners
Course Code