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Your Support Mobilized Staff to Take Care Out Beyond our Four Walls
Your funds are working hard to help more people, fix more problems, and provide an immediate step on the path from street to housing. Building on one of the three identified strategic priorities for Albuquerque Health Care for the Homeless (AHCH) – invigorating our outreach and field-based services – an Outreach Task Force comprised of a very excited group of staff (40% of AHCH’s total workforce) mobilized outreaches on weekends to engage and serve people not currently in our care. The purpose of this pilot Outreach Task Force was to mobilize a time-limited, focused outreach effort during additional AHCH service time to reach people eligible for, in need of, and not engaged in AHCH services. AHCH Executive Director Jennifer Metzler led this concerted effort and developed the idea from one of the new strategic priorities set forth in the new AHCH Strategy Roadmap – reach more and new clients. The planning also coincided with a time during the calendar year that AHCH begins to see its encounter numbers (the number of client visits at AHCH) start to plateau and Metzler stated that this task force also served the added benefit of increasing the number of clients seen 2016.
HCH outreach is aimed at breaking down the psychological and systematic barriers to care faced by homeless people… The first and most central element of HCH outreach is the goal of reaching homeless people who would otherwise not receive services. – Marsha McMurray-Avila, Organizing Health Services for Homeless People
Outreach activities included the following:
  • Information
    • Snacks
    • Water
    • Bus passes
    • Quad fold resource cards
  • Scheduling
    • Medical appointments
    • Dental appointments
    • Behavioral health appointments
  • Medical
    • Triage
    • First Aid
  • Dental
    • Hygiene
    • Screenings
  • Housing Assessments
  • Referrals to other resources either at AHCH or other agencies
    • ArtStreet
    • Resource Center
    • Harm Reduction Outreach
AHCH Outreach Task Force Goals:
  • 80 New Clients
  • 120 New Engagements
  • 360 Engagements
Successes: On October 15, the first Expanded Outreach Task Force Day was held from 8am to 3pm. 34 staff participated and covered outreach at five city parks and multiple stops along Menaul Blvd. During the day, there were 57 encounters (15 minutes or more), 178 contacts (10 minutes or less), and 22 appointments scheduled (14 showed up). Additionally, 18 housing assessments were completed and 200 juices and fruit cups were handed out along with 350 bus passes and many hygiene packs, water bottles, resource cards, and condoms. A second Outreach Task Force Day took place on Sunday, November 6 and covered West Central and Coors, the International District, and the Rock at NoonDay. There were a total 84 contacts, 102 referrals and 105 encounters. The third and fourth Outreach Task Force days of this exciting pilot took place on Saturday, December 10 and on Wednesday, December 21st. 29 staff participated on Saturday the 10th, while 19 staff participated on December 21st. Outreach teams covered four quadrants of Albuquerque, made stops at encampments, and made contact and provided information to local merchants in Nob Hill. Over the two outreaches, 172 contacts were made and 39 encounters were reported. A total of are 29 appointments were made for AHCH Medical, Dental, and Behavioral Health, and 13 housing assessments were completed. A total of 76 referrals were also made. Additionally 420 cups of hot cocoa and 650 bus passes were provided along with essential hygiene packs, jackets, gloves, hats and scarves. Outputs & Outcomes:
  • Outreach Sessions: 4 (24 hours over weekends, one week night, 5 am-9 pm)
  • Total Engagements (Contacts and Encounters): 635
  • Referrals: 89
  • Appointments: 85+
  • Follow through on scheduled appointments: 14
  • Clients housed (street/camp to housing): 11
  • Bus passes distributed: 1,000+
Future Actions:
  • Incorporate outreach initiatives and priorities into FY18 Annual Participatory Planning, organization-wide, beginning February 2017.
  • Increase the number of site-based and administrative staff who shadow outreaches throughout the year.
  • Analyze current outreach allocation of resources, partnerships, locations, populations reached, schedules and reconfigure as needed for maximum investment and impact.
  • Assess need for additional outreach resources.
  • Consider opportunities for re-engagement continuity outreaches.
  • Pilot fully integrated teams and better measure impact on engagement of new users.
  • Sustain the esprit de corps by supporting outreach opportunities and creative, integrated outreach approaches across the organization.


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