Homeless Outreach Program

The Thresholds Homeless Outreach Program was established in 1989 to provide assertive outreach, linkage to primary and psychiatric care, and resource referral to persons experiencing homelessness with serious mental illnesses. The program employs the skills of licensed clinical social workers on the streets, in shelters, and any other location where people who are homeless may be found. We are Chicago’s only citywide mental health homeless outreach program, and our primary goal is simple: to get people living with mental illnesses off the street and help them recover and regain their lives. We believe it is not enough to simply be available to the people who need our services – we need to bring our services to them.


Our Teams

At Thresholds, our outreach efforts are powered by five dedicated teams, each serving distinct areas of Chicago. These teams are integral to our mission of providing support, resources, and assistance to individuals experiencing homelessness.

Neighborhood Outreach

Our team serves diverse neighborhoods across Chicago, understanding and catering to the specific needs of each community. Each team specializes in outreach efforts tailored to their respective areas, providing home, health and hope.

  • North Side Outreach: The Northside Outreach team operates in neighborhoods such as Rogers Park, Uptown, and Edgewater. They actively engage individuals experiencing homelessness, building relationships and connecting them with vital services to foster stability and recovery.
  • South Side Outreach: Covering neighborhoods like Englewood, Bronzeville, and South Shore, the Southside Outreach team provides essential support and guidance to the homeless population. They empower individuals by offering assistance in accessing healthcare services, shelter, and other resources necessary for a path towards stability.
  • West Side Outreach: Serving areas such as Austin, Humboldt Park, and Lawndale, the West Side Outreach team focuses on providing assistance and resources to individuals experiencing homelessness and mental illness. They ensure that every individual in need is connected with housing programs, healthcare services, and other vital resources for their well-being.

See the impact of Thresholds’ Homeless Outreach Program in a recent FOX32 spotlight.


Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) Outreach

Many individuals experiencing homelessness find shelter and refuge within the CTA system, relying stations and trains for safety and warmth. The CTA Outreach Team recognizes this reality and works diligently to build relationships and rapport with individuals experiencing homelessness, connecting them with vital services tailored to their needs.

Each year, our dedicated team engages with up to 1,400 individuals throughout Chicago, extending a lifeline of support and resources. Our outreach teams collaborate with individuals to identify their goals, whether it’s accessing shelter, housing, benefits, income support, vital records, or treatment. Our focus extends to facilitating connections to psychiatric and healthcare services, recognizing the importance of holistic support in their journey towards stability.

One of our primary objectives is to connect individuals to shelter, ensuring they have a safe and secure place to stay. Our teams provide assistance with completing housing applications and facilitate shelter placements, recognizing the critical role stable housing plays in improving overall well-being

  • CTA AM Team: Operates in the morning on the red line going north and south, as well as trains moving through the Loop.
  • CTA PM Team: Operates in the evening on the red line, covering both northbound and southbound routes.

Learn more about the Thresholds CTA Project team with this video.




Homeless Outreach services and programs at Thresholds are supported through partnerships with the City of Chicago and the Department of Family and Support Services through the Illinois Department of Human Services.


We are proud to partner with Starbucks, a corporation committed to fostering real, long-term solutions to homelessness. Through their investment in our unique outreach worker program, Starbucks and Thresholds collaborate to provide wraparound support for community members experiencing homelessness who frequent their stores in Chicago.

Together, Starbucks and Thresholds are working towards creating a more supportive and compassionate community for all individuals, regardless of their housing status. We are grateful for their dedication to making a positive impact on the lives of those experiencing homelessness in Chicago.

Learn more about the powerful partnership between Thresholds and Starbucks.