Resources and Guidance

for Businesses Dealing with Persons Experiencing Homelessness

The Home for All Continuum of Care has created a new business toolkit to help employees at local businesses reach out to persons experiencing homelessness in their area.

The goal is to connect with the person and then connect them with resources.

Copies of the brochure can be requested by emailing Kate Green at or you can download a printable PDF of the brochure here.

For quick reference, here are the tips and contact information included in the Home for All Business Toolkit Brochure:

What to Do When a Person Needs Help

If you feel comfortable:

  • Get to know the people who are experiencing homelessness in the area near your business and treat them like any neighbor.
  • Encourage/help them call public services like 211 or 309-999-4029 for resource guidance for help like food, clothing, housing, and more.
  • Call the Street Outreach Team at 309-674-7310. They can come help get them connected to services within 24 hours Monday through Friday.

Please keep in mind:

  • Many organizations work directly to help people experiencing homelessness and increase affordable housing. Find an organization that you want to support and ask them what they need. Organizations can be found at
  • Home for All’s homeless service providers know how to help our homeless neighbors. It’s what they are best at. The more you support them, the more they can help people get off the streets and into stable housing.
  • Avoid perpetuating stereotypes, stigma and myths. People experiencing homelessness are not defined by their housing status. It’s often temporary and tied to many different life experiences.
  • Advocate within your circle of influence to help make things better for our neighbors who are homeless. This will help our business community too.

We recommend that you:

  • Make eye contact and talk kindly to people who are without homes.
  • Call the Street Outreach Team at 309-674-7310.
  • Try to deescalate disruptive situations if you are comfortable.
  • Call 911 if someone is threatening harm to self or others, acting recklessly, or violently.
  • Install good lighting around your building.
  • Let people know your boundaries on your property. If people are doing something illegal and won’t leave, call the non-emergency police line at 309-673-4521.
  • Keep the area in front of the business clean and well maintained. Keeping your area clean encourages others to respect the area.

We do NOT recommend that you:

  • Assume people know your expectations.
  • Offer food or money, unless you are equipped and willing to handle repeat requests.
  • Permit anyone to camp on your property, unless you have developed a trusting relationship with them.
  • Permit anyone to store shopping carts or personal belongings on your property.

Here is what to do if someone is sleeping/loitering at your front door or on your property:

  • Since you may not have a one-off interaction, it is good to establish a friendly relationship; introduce yourself and ask the person’s name.
  • Politely ask them to leave using sincere, empathetic language that deflects the request from yourself to a third party (e.g. the property owner asks them to leave, even if that person is you). This reduces the power dynamic and will help in future interactions.
  • Let them know where they can be, as opposed to only where they cannot be.
  • If they are not cooperative, tell them you are going to call the police, but would rather not. Avoid confrontation and keep a safe distance if you feel threatened in any way. Call the Street Outreach Team first, then the non-emergency police line. If they become disruptive or dangerous, call 911.

Quick Connect: Who to Call

  • To connect individuals with community resources and housing specialists, call Phoenix Community Development Services Streat Outreach team at 309-674-7310.
  • To navigate community resources, for you, your employees, or persons experiencing homelessness, call the 211 Information and Referral Line at 211 or 309-999-4029.
  • To receive immediate, but non-life-threatening mental health crisis support, call Trillium Place Crisis Services in Peoria County at 309-671-8084 or Tazewell/Woodford counties at 309-347-1148; in Fulton County call North Central Behavioral Health Systems at 815-224-1610.
  • To address life-threatening or safety concerns, call 911.

Resources and Guidance for Businesses Dealing with Persons Experiencing Homelessness Resources and Guidance for Businesses Dealing with Persons Experiencing Homelessness