First Fruit Street Outreach has consistently served unsheltered homeless people and built trusting relationships with those hardest to reach for almost 20 years. We started in 1998 as a street outreach to people living under bridges and in the woods of our community.
We served women and girls being trafficked or caught in the commercial sex industry. We reached out to our local gangs. We went wherever homeless people were to bring a hot meal, loving kindness, and help for the struggles they faced.
Street Outreach begins with serving hot meals on the streets Wednesday and Sunday nights. First Fruit Ministries’ volunteers and our homeless friends meet in a downtown parking lot to share a meal and get to know each other.
As relationships are built and trust gained, Street Outreach staff can assess housing and service needs. For those who desire to leave a life on the streets, First Fruit Ministries Street Outreach connects our unsheltered friends to supportive housing. In addition, our CEO and a small team of volunteers visit drug houses, wooded encampments, motels, and sidewalks to share food and to build relationships
and the trust necessary to motivate this hard-to-serve population to accept other services.
We also provide:
- Sack lunches
- Hygiene supplies
- Referrals to services and housing
- Assistance with housing applications
- Advice and help in navigating the housing process
On Thursdays, we share a family-style meal on the ministry campus. Our homeless friends are provided transportation to First Fruit Ministries’ Outreach & Engagement Center where they can get a hot shower, do laundry, visit our Family Nurse Practitioner for primary medical care, meet with our housing specialist, and enjoy fellowship. We often have a Bible study or encouraging teaching that builds hope and gives peace.
One of the most exciting parts of our outreaches is the opportunity for uninsured, homeless people to receive free medical care!
Through a partnership with MedNorth, First Fruit Ministries’ Street Outreach provides wound care, diabetic testing and services, prescription medication assistance, HIV/Hepatitis C testing, hypertension monitoring, and a whole host of other primary care services to patients who are itinerant and incredibly vulnerable. Within First Fruit’s Outreach & Engagement Center is a medical exam room staffed by a MedNorth Family Nurse Practitioner and Registrar. They are available for walk-in care from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m on Thursdays.
MedNorth behavioral health staff are also available for mental health screenings and assessment by appointment at the ministry campus. They help our homeless friends with mental health needs connect to services while in a familiar and safe setting.
Outreach staff and volunteers engage and connect homeless individuals and families to mainstream and community services in order to establish them in a regular medical home, improve their health, and increase their use of existing community-based medical providers instead of expensive emergency medical services.
First Fruit Ministries Street Outreach engages and connects homeless individuals and families to community services so they can successfully transition from living on the street to thriving in homes of their own. If you’d like to volunteer, please go to our Volunteer Page!