Outreach is a client-centered face-to-face encounter that seeks to engage hard-to-reach or hidden populations in order to inform, empower, and connect individuals to services that may lead to better health outcomes and disease prevention.
Outreach relies on meeting clients “where they are” through relating and building rapport and is a process that happens over time with repeated contacts. This approach is appreciated by clients who may have transportation challenges which may prevent them from coming to our office and accessing services. Our primary goals with outreach is to move clients of unknown HIV and STD status into HIV/STD testing services while also linking HIV positive individuals into care and treatment services. Our secondary goal is to link clients to referrals that address other needs.
For many clients, addressing non-HIV/STD needs such as housing, food, or mental health may be the necessary precursor to HIV testing. Connecting clients with referrals to meet needs around housing, legal assistance, workplace development, or other aspects of their lives may mitigate HIV-related risk while also moving clients towards evening HIV and STD testing and follow-up services. Clients appreciate that we acknowledge and validate their priorities. Our staff are committed to “unconditional positive regard”, which means they respect the client’s feeling and concerns. GRS conducts a variety of outreach strategies including: