Street Outreach

Thanks for your interest in volunteering with the Friends of the State Street Family Street Outreach Team! Outreach Teams go out nightly and, with community support, bring life sustaining needs such as food, water, sleeping bags, blankets and other survival gear to our friends experiencing homelessness in Madison. Outreach Teams are often first responders to the homeless in crisis and provide medical triage, referrals, support and friendship to hundreds of our most vulnerable population. Outreach Teams work with other community organizations and outreach teams to make a difference in the lives of individuals and provide basic human necessities to those in need.

FSSF has temporarily suspended outreach training as we confront the current pandemic and the changing services available to our friends experiencing homelessness. We continue to have several trusted teams who go out each week to maintain our relationships and seek solutions for those who are still unsheltered.

Media

“To have children turned away from shelter, little children, women with babies. To have people with disabilities, people who just got out of the hospital turned away from shelter is unacceptable.”

Tami Fleming, Founder of Friends of the State Street Family

“I grew up very poor. I have a saying that I was homeless more than I had a home. My mom was a great person, but she was not great with money. We lived with other people a large chunk of my childhood. We stayed in the shelters in Madison a few times. Now that I am an adult, it is important that my four kids see me helping others so as they get older they will do the same.”

Shawn, Volunteer since 2015

“While others look away, I’m compelled to do something to help. And while outreach is not my strength, it’s very rewarding to help behind the scenes to help this organization grow to serve even more people until we can reduce or eliminate the homelessness challenges.”

Andie, Volunteer since 2016

“It started with a Facebook post from Tami about a homeless person, in a wheelchair, involved in a hit and run accident. The story got to me, I messaged her and asked what I could do to help. She mentioned the food run and I said yes. I couldn’t believe how much a home-cooked meal and a hug could help.”

Connie, Volunteer since 2011

“I joined the group shortly after Tami started it… seeing other people sleeping outside and then going home and shivering in my warm bed hardly able to sleep because of the thought of so many sleeping outside. I want to help out when I can. I consider myself lucky. I have my health, a home, a decent job that pays pretty well. I’m always willing to lend a helping hand to those in need.”

Dennis, Volunteer since 2011

As a parent I have the duty to create a better world for my children. That begins with helping others and cultivating compassion in my children. As Friends of the State Street Family volunteers we are able to directly impact the life of another human being who is experiencing homelessness. Our lives are filled with memories of lifting others up at their most desperate hour, giving to someone who can never repay you, and filling our hearts and the hearts of others with hope and love.”

Megan, Volunteer since 2016

“These people we fight so hard for, are our friends. They all have names, some have families, some are alone, and all have a story. It’s up to us to help brighten their days with friendship, hope and support. I know I can make a difference in someone’s life one day at a time; it’s the little things that mean the most as well as answering your phone 24/7 for a crisis. They know I’m there for them day or night.”

Kelly, Volunteer since 2011