Homeless Outreach

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.

Every day, Homeless Outreach Program workers can be found traveling throughout the city and on public transit in search of people who may need our service. After initial contact, the team works to build a relationship, and may help to hospitalize people in critical need, provide temporary shelter, or connect them to long-term support programs. Each year the Homeless Outreach Program team works with up to 1,400 people throughout the greater Chicago metropolitan area.

Thresholds CTA Project

The Thresholds CTA Project team engages populations experiencing homelessness in need of services on Chicago’s ‘L’ transit system. They provide comprehensive assessments, clinical engagement, advocacy, community resources development, transportation to appointments, and assistance with completing and submitting public benefits applications.

The CTA Project team works with Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) security to identify persons in need. Staff shifts vary between peak and non-peak times for maximum coverage. All staff are equipped with a wireless laptop containing resource information, web-based e-mail, and software designed to track a client’s progress.

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.