The Peoria Police Department will reach out to homeless residents on Thursday, Oct. 31, from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
“Officers will be out contacting our homeless residents and offering to bring them to our Homeless Outreach Event where they will be provided with resource information and necessary hygiene items,” said Brandon Sheffert, a police spokesman.
The event will be at the Rio Vista Recreation Center, 8866 W. Thunderbird Road.
Sheffert said the goal of the collaborative event with community agencies is “to ensure the safety of all residents including those who are living on the street.
“Officers will be out contacting individuals in known homeless locations and those who are panhandling throughout the city,” Sheffert said.
“These officers will be taking the time to talk with the people they encounter, learn about their lives and offer to bring them to our central location where there will be a variety of resources available to them.”
Services offered at the event include shelter providers, animal care and boarding, medical screenings, substance abuse assistance, behavioral health assistance, veteran benefits, food, showers and resource information.
“Officers will also remind the individuals of the dangers of living on the street and of panhandling while encouraging them to utilize the provided resources. They also take the time to provide education on the various state laws and city ordinances that may affect them while being on the street,” Sheffert said.
“The ultimate goal is to connect our homeless residents with resources and follow up, to ensure they have taken advantage of what is available to them. The safety of all Peoria residents is paramount and the department strives to ensure this extends to all segments of our population.”
One program assisting the homeless is Salvation Army’s Project H.O.P.E.
According to its website, “The goal of Project H.O.P.E. is to offer outreach services to families experiencing homelessness by providing aid with basic-needs items, such as food, hygiene and transportation.”
Other Project H.O.P.E. outreach services include:
Assisting clients with transportation and in obtaining identifying documents to increase eligibility for services.
Providing individuals with referrals and information about services not available through Project H.O.P.E. or other Salvation Army programs.
Assisting homeless families in overcoming barriers to access mainstream services.
Assisting people in accessing medical, mental health, or substance abuse treatment.
Project H.O.P.E. also connects families to legal, vocational, family advocacy and case management services in collaboration with shelters, housing programs and other service providers.
For information on Project H.O.P.E., call 602-267-4195.