Pine Street Inn's Street Outreach teams offer clothing, food, blankets, health care referrals and human contact to homeless individuals who - often struggling with mental illness and addiction - choose not to come into shelter. The team works to build trust with these individuals. Through these relationships, many chronically homeless people have moved from the streets to permanent housing and toward independence. Pine Street's Outreach Van program has run every night since 1986.
Pine Street Inn's Street Outreach teams offer clothing, food, blankets, health care referrals, human contact, and housing opportunities to homeless individuals who choose not to come into shelter. The team works to build trust with these individuals, who are often struggling with mental illness and addiction. Through these relationships, hundreds of chronically homeless people have moved from the streets to permanent housing and toward independence.
Pine Street is the only organization offering consistent nightly street outreach in Boston. Our vans travel the city streets from 9:00pm to 5:00am, providing assistance and compassion to upwards of 100 people staying on the street in Boston each night. We go out regardless of the weather. In fact, the need is greatest during blizzards, hurricanes, and heat waves.
To ensure continuity of care, Daytime and Nighttime Outreach staff work collaboratively and share information and updates about each individual who has been contacted. Pine Street's Outreach teams are in all neighborhoods of Boston and work in coordination with the City of Boston to identify and prioritize individuals who are highly vulnerable and we engage with them to find a permanent home.
Nelson Bennett, our Associate Director of Nighttime Outreach has worked the Outreach Van for over 20 years, highlights the impact of nurturing persistence when his team interacted with a man who refused to come into shelter for years. The team continued to build rapport with him, until one night, when the weather was dangerously severe, he finally agreed to come inside to shelter. After that, he asked to hear more about housing opportunities. Within two months, he was housed.
People on the street can read you really well, so if you go at them with a negative attitude or if they can see you're frustrated, it may trigger them. It's all about the approach; we believe in treating everyone with dignity and respect. The motto of the Outreach team is: ‘Never, never, never give up!'.- Nelson, Outreach Team Member
Daytime (5:00am – 9:00pm): 617.892.9572
Nighttime (9:00pm – 5:00am): 617.633.0170
If the situation is an emergency, call 911