WHO ARE WE
We are volunteers organized into chapters in local communities. We fill critical missing pieces to transition those who are homeless into housing.
Our model is simple and flexible. With the right support to transition those who are homeless to housed can happen in as quickly as one or two days. We are a 501(c)(3) with no paid staff. We take no government funding and have minimal overhead costs. All money, furniture, and other household goods are donated.
WHAT WE DO
Our volunteers get homeless people with a source of income into permanent housing by:
Here’s the story of how one of our chapter leaders discovered that a group of volunteers can actually get homeless people Off The Streets:
Off the Streets was founded by Deacon Michael Oles, a long term volunteer at Dorothy Day Hospitality House in Danbury CT. Like Off the Streets, Dorothy Day House is staffed completely by volunteers, and provides meals to 80-120 people each day and shelter to 16 people every night. When Deacon Mike was asked to speak about homelessness to a group of middle school religious education students, he brought along some homeless people to tell their stories. The students were so moved by the stories that they sent money to Deacon Mike to help a particular gentleman. However, Deacon Mike had no experience in getting people into housing (it’s a lot different than cooking meals in a soup kitchen or manning an overnight shelter). After some procrastination, he succeeded in finding an apartment and paid the security deposit with the students funds.
After this success, the word got out that Deacon Mike could get people out of homelessness and into housing. Unsolicited contributions from church groups and individuals continued to flow in, and more people were placed in housing. In September 2009, Deacon Mike recruited some volunteers, and Off the Streets was formed as a non-profit organization in Danbury CT
Deacon Mike realized that the Off The Streets model could be applied to any community. When he relocated to Lancaster PA in 2013, he started an OTS chapter there. OTS chapters have also been started in Bridgeport CT, Columbia PA and Huntington Beach CA. Since every community in the United States has some homeless people who could be helped by Off The Streets, it is Deacon Mike’s vision to establish Off The Streets chapters throughout the US. Each of us can be part of the solution in our own cities and towns.