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Finding Homeless Kids Before Danger Does

Every day, Covenant House outreach specialists canvass the most dangerous neighborhoods in search of homeless kids. Armed with Covenant House brochures, plenty of sandwiches, and the offer of on-the-spot assistance, outreach specialists' constant and reassuring presence earns them trust among the youth on the streets and provides them the chance to talk about Covenant House.

Street and Van Outreach

"By heading to where the kids are, day or night, we let them know that they have other options – our day services, our shelters, our safe haven. They can see that they have options beyond survival sex, drugs, and other dangers of the street."
– Kevin Ryan, President of Covenant House

Outreach Programs Are More Than Driving the Streets

Covenant House outreach extends beyond vans. Our outreach staff members attend committee meetings and sit on mayoral councils, and we visit local schools, hospitals, YMCAs, and community group events – all to educate anyone who might encounter a teen in need so he or she can recognize the signs of homelessness and child trafficking.

Youth Outreach Extends to Other Organizations

Outreach staff work collaboratively with local child welfare organizations not only to tackle the problem of youth homelessness within their community but also to introduce these organizations to our exceptional crisis care and transitional living programs. Working collaboratively allows us to foster change on the local, state, and even federal levels – and at the same time, partnering organizations are more likely to refer at-risk youth to Covenant House.

We Focus on Prevention with Our Outreach Programs

Prevention factors into Covenant House's outreach efforts as well. Residents and staff members from Covenant House visit hundreds of schools each year, connecting young people to services they or their friends might need and raising awareness about teen homelessness. Often Covenant House residents tell their personal stories to the students.

"It's about telling young people it's not just the old man with a brown paper bag who's homeless; it's also young people who look just like them. When I put my Covenant House kids next to you, I can't tell who's homeless."
– Covenant House Outreach Worker

Last year, Covenant House served 28,221 kids with Outreach Programs.