Amarillo’s Homeless Outreach Providing Encouragement (HOPE)

Posted on Nov 22, 2016

Amarillo’s Homeless Outreach Providing Encouragement (HOPE)

Program Goal:
Create an innovative, proactive approach to connect Amarillo’s homeless population to our community’s support services as part of our on-going commitment to move this population from crisis to stability and beyond.
In September 2015, the City of Albuquerque initiated a program called “There’s A Better Way” to provide work opportunities in an effort to stem panhandling in the community.  The program is based on a partnership between the City of Albuquerque and St. Martin’s Hospitality Center to provide temporary work cleaning-up areas around the city while connecting those in need to community support services.  A similar approach offers the opportunity to improve outreach to the homeless population and enhance the connection to social services available in Amarillo.
Partnership Selection:
Based on a similar approach used in Albuquerque, the City of Amarillo will partner with a local support services organization to conduct a temporary work program that focuses on providing pro-active outreach of our community’s support services to Amarillo’s homeless population. 

Pilot Program Scope:
The pilot program is based on providing proactive outreach of locally available support services to the homeless population in Amarillo by engaging them in temporary work activities.  At least two days a week, a program coordinator will recruit persons from the homeless community in Amarillo to work for approximately 6 hours cleaning up a pre-identified area of Amarillo.  During the work period, the participant will receive a meal and will interact with social workers to complete a coordinated assessment, identifying the participant’s needs.  Social workers will coordinate with community support service agencies and groups to connect the participant with local support services. 
The City of Amarillo will fund the pilot program while exploring options to provide for the long-term sustainment of the program.  The initial time frame for the pilot program is March 2017 through September 2017.  The program will be continually evaluated by City staff and the partnering entity to recommend adjustments in an effort to maximize the benefit of the program.

  • City of Amarillo Support:  The City will serve as the program sponsor, providing up to $50,000 in funding for the pilot program.  The City will assign a program administrator to oversee the program and coordinate City services in support of the program.  City Solid Waste will identify work locations and facilitate debris and trash pick-up from work sites.  The City will donate a 2005 Ford E150 Window Van (asset #6579) for use in the program.
  • Partnering Entity:  The partnering entity will facilitate the work program, providing for the operation and administration of the program services.  The partnering entity will coordinate and staff the work program with staff trained in case management, preferably with the homeless population and familiar with community partnerships and resources as the driver and outreach coordinator.  The entity will be responsible for…
    • Engaging persons in need of support services from the homeless community in work opportunities;
    • Transport participants to and from work sites;
    • Provide participants with work tools and safety equipment for clean-up activities;
    • Provide participants with a meal, snacks, and water during the work period;
    • Ensure completion of the coordinated assessment and facilitation of engagement with appropriate local support services;
    • Pay the participants a stipend (an amount pre-determined by the City) for hours worked;
    • Assist in connecting the participant with appropriate local support services; and
    • Submit monthly invoices to the City for services provided.

In addition, the partnering entity will be responsible for fuel and service of the van (estimated at $225 to $300 per month) and appropriate insurance coverages.  Expenses associated with the outlined activities are eligible for reimbursement by the City through the available funding.

  • Community Partnerships:  In order for the outreach component of the program to be successful, partnerships with non-profit, faith-based, community-based, and private organizations are a key element of the program.  Both the City and partnering entity will work to gain support from all support service organizations and agencies to assist with outreach to participants.
  • Case Management:  Incorporate the coordinated assessment to assist in gathering information on participants and steering them to the correct support service programs.  It is anticipated that the potential use of social work interns from local universities can assist in the completion of the coordinated assessment and facilitate outreach to appropriate support services.
  • Food Services: All food and beverages provided/supplied to participants in the program must come from an Approved Source.  An Approved Source is defined as a permitted food establishment authorized by the Bi-City-County Health District’s Environmental Health Department.  Examples of Approved Sources include, but are not limited to, restaurants, grocery stores, institutional facilities, etc.  Examples of Un-Approved Sources include, but are not limited to private residences or un-permitted locations or entities.
  • Participant Payment:  At the end of the work period, the participant will receive a cash payment of $9.00 per hour worked from the partnering entity.  Individual participants cannot earn more than $600 per year from the program due to potential employment tax implications.  Based on this, and the City’s desire to reach and/or assist as many participants as possible, the City requests the partnering entity work to limit individual participation in the program to no more than six opportunities in a calendar year.
  • Employment Opportunity:  The City will coordinate with the partnering entity to identify high performance participants for potential application to entry-level or otherwise appropriate City jobs.
  • Performance Metrics:  The City will require active, on-going reporting in the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) to assist with the tracking and evaluation of the success of the program.  General information pulled from HMIS will include:
    • Number of contacts with potential participants;
    • Number of program participants;
    • Identification of repeat participants;
    • Number of meals served;
    • Number of coordinated assessments completed;
    • Number and type of referrals to local support services; and
    • Concerns or issues related to the operation of the program.

In addition, the City will require the partnering entity to submit a monthly narrative highlighting community engagement, program successes, and program challenges.  The performance metrics will be continually assessed to identify potential adjustments to the program.

City of Amarillo Point of Contact:
Kevin Starbuck, Program Administrator
Phone: (806) 378-3077
[email protected]

Amarillo’s HOPE Pilot Program Plan Application

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