Community Outreach Programs - Meeting Unsheltered Neighbors Where They Are - LifeMoves Skip to main content

At LifeMoves, we strive to meet every person where they are in their own journey. This is at the heart of our commitment to treating our neighbors experiencing homelessness with dignity and respect along their path to housing and stability.

These core values are nowhere better exemplified than in the work of our Community Outreach Services.

These programs include Homeless Outreach Teams, hospital discharge with Kaiser Permanente, Night Outreach, police-funded strategic outreach effort at encampments, and Health Care for the Homeless.

LifeMoves’ innovative Community Outreach programs meet the needs of those experiencing homelessness wherever they are located.  Our dedicated Outreach professionals take the extensive supportive services that we offer as part of our interim housing programs directly to our unsheltered neighbors on the streets of San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties.

Bringing services directly to unsheltered clients is no simple task. In this service model, clients frequently change locations, may not have any means of staying in touch with their case manager, have many barriers to keeping scheduled appointments, be in active addiction, have trauma and mental health challenges to manage, and must prioritize meeting their daily needs in often unpredictable and sometimes unsafe environments.

In 2023, our Outreach team helped 433 clients move out of homelessness through tailored services to help start rebuilding a foundation for success.

It takes resilience, determination, and creativity to survive unsheltered. LifeMoves Outreach teams respect this.

Outreach case managers are determined to treat our clients with kindness respect and dignity.  That may mean being a person who always looks them in the eye, pays attention without judgment to their emotional and physical reality, and respects that whatever space they occupy is their current home – no matter what it might look like to others.

They build a relationship with each client over time through repetition and consistency.  They are relentless and resilient in getting clients the resources they need. With a little patience, this all helps to build trust with clients and within the ecosystem of partners we rely on to address the complex challenges our clients face.



In the ever-changing landscape of unsheltered living, consistency requires some creativity and a lot of commitment.  In some cases, the first challenge is just finding the client.  Outreach Case managers typically work within a geographical region and develop strategies to find and be available to their clients.  In some cases, this may mean driving around to several possible locations, reliably showing up at a set and easily accessible location for a set period time every week so clients can check in, reaching out to trusted networks of community organizations they have developed over time, or relying on just being known and trusted by a large number of residents in encampments around the area.

Community Outreach relies on talented team members solving problems and improvising on all fronts.

If there is any currency in this environment, it is trust.

An issue as complex as street homelessness cannot be solved by one organization alone.  LifeMoves partners with cities, counties, local nonprofits, police departments, community members, and philanthropy to serve our neighbors experiencing homelessness in the many communities we do outreach work in.  Outreach team members ensure that we are good partners all working to address the diverse needs of unsheltered individuals and the broader challenges of homelessness in each community.  On any given day, a case manager may need to help several clients at a time – all in different and ever-changing locations and circumstances – access resources to obtain essential identity documents, apply for government and private assistance programs, make medical appointments, arrange transportation, access food, clothing, and hygiene essentials, and find emergency shelter options and financial resources.

This would be nearly impossible without strong and trusting relationships with partners who can react quickly, flexibly and go the extra mile for a respected partner.

The transition to shelter can be challenging.

One of the most common misconceptions that our Outreach teams encounter is that anyone living on the streets would immediately jump at the opportunity to be sheltered.  It is not that simple. Some clients clients may have personal barriers based on past trauma endured in specific environments, negative assumptions about some shelter options, or concerns about the rules they might have to follow if they enter shelter or housing options.  In some cases, there is suspicion around, or just discomfort with, being in a structured environment.  Anyone with a history of incarceration, for example, may not be receptive to anything that feels like a loss of freedom.

Some clients simply are not ready to leave the community or home they have built for themselves in an encampment for an environment they have less control over, where they could feel isolated, or where they might need to leave behind some of their personal belongings.


Building trust allows LifeMoves Outreach Teams to deliver supportive services.

Our teams have the experience and compassion to understand and address these concerns over time by building trust.  In some cases, an act as seemingly small as delivering favorite snacks or personal hygiene items regularly and checking in without pressure can be a huge step toward a client feeling ready for change.  Over time, a client may be open to visiting shelter or housing options with their case manager to get accustomed to the idea and learn more about the reality of their options.

The process may be long and slow in some cases, but LifeMoves Outreach Programs remain focused treating unsheltered clients with respect, meeting their needs wherever they are, taking steps to improve access to health and other essential resources, and building a foundation for change.

LifeMoves Community Outreach Programs are diverse, innovative and complex. Our Community Outreach team members are a special group of dedicated, kind and resourceful professionals who perform small miracles every day to make a big impact on so many lives.

“I had been experiencing homelessness for over 10 years — I had no income. My health was bad. And I used [drugs]. I didn’t know how to help myself, and I wasn’t comfortable with getting help from others. My LifeMoves case worker believed in me. She didn’t give up on me — showing up at my encampment to encourage me, time and again. I’m still taking [drugs], but we’re talking about detox. I got an emergency housing voucher, and now I am going to move into my own home. I’m so grateful.”  -Petri, LifeMoves Outreach Client

Stay Connected!

Receive stories of hope and transformation from LifeMoves.

By joining our list, you agree to receive informative emails and mailings about LifeMoves.