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Lancaster Outreach Specialist Patrols City Streets to Support Individuals Experiencing Homelessness, Addiction, or Mental Illness

October 29, 2021 | Mayor's Office
By: Amber Strazzo

The Lancaster City Alliance and City of Lancaster have teamed up to better support members of our community in crisis through the work of an outreach specialist. Funded by the City, the new outreach specialist will work under the umbrella of the Lancaster City Alliance Ambassador program.

“We are pleased to share that the new Lancaster City Alliance Outreach Specialist, Sarita Rivera, will be assisting individuals in the City experiencing homelessness, addiction, or mental illness,” said Marshall W. Snively, President, Lancaster City Alliance. “We live in a community that cares deeply about its people and Sarita will serve as a friendly face to listen and connect people with the support and services they need to safely leave the streets,” said Snively.

The need for a City-focused outreach specialist was a priority for the Mayor’s office and was refined through stakeholder meetings with County Government, Tenfold, LancCo My Home, and the Lancaster City Alliance. This outreach coordinator fills a specific need for the City to help our community better connect individuals experiencing homelessness with the resources and support they need.

“We share the great concern the Lancaster Community has expressed for our neighbors experiencing homelessness,” said Mayor Danene Sorace. “We are pleased to be able to fund this position, alongside significant investments in additional shelter space and transitional living units, for a one-year period as a pilot program in line with our human-centered approach to better support our most vulnerable citizens,” said Mayor Sorace. 

The duties of the outreach specialist are to regularly connect with individuals congregating in public places and provide them with the services and support that they need. If the individual cannot immediately be helped, the outreach specialist will work to develop a relationship with them, and hopefully in time, connect them to the health and human services system. The outreach specialist will use the existing Ambassador data tracking system which will track their daily interactions with those experiencing homelessness, addiction, and mental illness. They will also document engagements with business owners, residents and most importantly, the number of individuals they were able to transition into services and on a path to recovery.


About the Lancaster City Alliance         

The non-profit Lancaster City Alliance works to engage the community, strengthen neighborhoods, manage the Downtown Investment District and CRIZ Authority, and implements the community-owned Building On Strength economic development plan. Join the conversation on social media and visit lancastercityalliance.org for more information.    

About the City of Lancaster

Spanning 7 square miles in south Central Pennsylvania, the City of Lancaster is home to 60,000 diverse residents. Committed to building a stronger, more equitable Lancaster block by block, the City of Lancaster oversees a range of public services including public safety, health, housing, parks, streets, and water and sewer operations. For more information, visit cityoflancasterpa.com. Join the conversation at engage.cityoflancasterpa.com.