CASPAR has decided to expand their FirstStep services to Saturday evenings and nights, beginning Saturday, November 6, 2010 through the end of March 2011.
Rick Ralphson, CASPAR’s Program Coordinator, will be scheduling an additional team of two people to travel throughout the area in the FirstStep van from 4:00 p.m. to midnight on Saturdays, working with the Police and other partners to help unsheltered homeless men and women. In addition to the current day time and evening shifts from 11:00 a.m. to midnight, Monday through Friday, FirstStep staff will now be serving this high-risk population another eight hours each week, and at a time when they are particularly vulnerable.
The FirstStep outreach team will be providing referrals and transportation to needed resources. They will transport people to CASPAR’s Emergency Services Shelter at 240 Albany Street in Cambridge or to other shelters, detoxification centers, hospitals or other facilities at the direction of their clients. CASPAR’s goals are two-fold – alleviate some of the burden placed on the Police Departments and areas hospitals and, more importantly, help homeless individuals stay alive during the harshest of months.
At the end of March, CASPAR will evaluate the success of this effort and their access to the financial resources to support it. They will then determine if the agency is able to expand this service to the whole year.
Please call Dick Riccio or the FirstStep Coordinator, Rick Ralphson at 617-661-0600 if you have any questions or suggestions as CASPAR moves forward with this new initiative.
CASPAR thanks you for your on-going support and hopes to continue to be responsive to the needs of the homeless living in our communities as well as the neighbors and businesses who live and work here.