Homeless Assistance Team
The Homeless Assistance Team (HAT) provides outreach services and case management to homeless individuals and families needing help locating permanent housing. We work to ensure emergency and transitional shelter plus support services are available for homeless persons. Roanoke's Human Services Coordinator, who advocates for expansion of services and education programs through increased funding, directs HAT. Funding is provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development through the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grant. HAT staff provides outreach, case management and supportive services to those seeking assistance.
What We Do:
Homeless Assistance Team (HAT) members search for new homeless sites in the thickets, under bridges and in alleyways and respond to reported homeless sightings on a daily basis. The Team conducts shelter and street sweeps weekly. Sweeps consist of visiting all area emergency shelters to offer assistance to working homeless and others that may not know about HAT services. Street sweeps are conducted weekly from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m., or periodically from 5 a.m. until 7 a.m. to locate persons residing in areas not designed for sleeping.
Provide Case Management
HAT provides guidance to homeless persons as they work on a service plan to define the cause of homelessness and develop goals, objectives and steps to address those issues. The team directs clients to supportive services that will best assist them in attaining permanent housing. Case managers who are very familiar with community resources make appropriate referrals.
Offer Supportive Services
These services, which are provided by Human Services and other agencies in the community, have served more than 1,800 clients. Clients received counsel for housing and were given transportation, photo ID, food, clothing, prescriptions, financial management counseling and other services.
Homelessness in the Roanoke Valley
The Roanoke Regional Task Force on Homelessness monitors issues facing Roanoke's homeless population. According to the latest survey, each night in the Roanoke Valley, an estimated 311 homeless people reside in emergency shelters, transitional housing facilities, treatment centers, and in other areas not designed for sleeping. The Blue Ridge Continuum of Care outlines services available to address the needs of the homeless, as well as identifies gaps in services that impact the plight of the homeless. Surveys outlining homelessness in the valley are available on Point in Time Homeless Data from 1989 to 2018. Additional survey information can be found at www.endhomelessnessblueridge.org.
How the Community Can Help
Welcome Home Baskets provide necessary household items for persons transitioning from homelessness to permanent housing. Clients in transition have need of the following items:
- Alarm clock
- All-purpose cleaner
- Dish soap
- Dish towels
- Laundry detergent
- Light bulbs
- Paper towels
- Shower curtains and liners
- Spray disinfectants
Resources to assist homeless individuals and families in Roanoke include emergency shelters, transitional housing and supportive services.