Castro Cares is partnering with Strut, SF AIDS Foundation to provide harm-reduction based street outreach to those at risk in the Castro & Upper Market. Through a city grant from the Office of Economic & Workforce Development and donations from merchants and residents, Castro Cares is once again funding 20 hours a week of street outreach. Our outreach team is creative and understands the importance of meeting people’s needs and also bringing in outside resources. For instance, their backpack of supplies not only has toiletries, but it also has biodegradable poop bags. Yes, READ MORE the type of poop bags used by backpackers. They understand the issues in the neighborhood and they are discretely distributing poop bags! And people are thankful! They have also successfully brought in resources from HOT and the Department of Public Health to supplement their work; adding two more outreach shifts to their schedule. John Rivie, Castro Cares Outreach Worker recently said of his work, “Outreach has been successful. Our current collaboration with the city’s Homeless Outreach team has been very productive and well received by community members. I want to share victory we had: A community member we worked with had his PrEP medication stolen while sleeping outdoors. PrEP is a medication he takes that prevents HIV. After working with him, we were able to get him the meds he needed. We look forward to further collaborations with the HOT team and more engagement with community members like this one who can benefit from our services.”
In the month of February, the street outreach provided referrals/information for housing, harm reduction/recovery services, STI/HIV/HEPC testing, medical & dental services, financial services and assistance with securing a state ID/other issues.