NCFY Reports

What's In Your Bag?

Effective street outreach is well-planned, thoughtful, and responsive to the diverse needs of young people living in precarious environments. Outreach workers must be well-equipped. This means having critical listening and communication skills and the ability to counsel or intervene when necessary. It also means having a lot of stuff. Here are some items street outreach workers carry with them to foster a street youth’s survival or comfort.

  • bus tokens
  • candy and healthy snacks
  • instant soup packets
  • individual cereal cartons
  • water and Gatorade
  • feminine hygiene products
  • toothbrushes, toothpaste
  • dental floss (also good for sewing shut holes in clothes)
  • sewing kits, iron-on seam repair kits, Velcro, and safety pins for repairing clothing
  • washcloths, hand sanitizer, wet wipes
  • first aid kits
  • cough drops
  • self-care kits for stomach ache, headache, PMS, sore throat, cuts and wounds, constipation, diarrhea, with instructions on how to know when you’re sick, how to treat yourself (for instance, how to treat diarrhea with Gatorade), and when to seek medical care
  • flashlights
  • single load packages of laundry detergent and quarters for Laundromat 
  • eyeglass repair kits
  • blankets
  • clothing like underwear, long johns, socks, boots, gloves, jackets, hats, hoodies, shoes
  • rain jackets
  • cosmetics
  • wallets
  • travel alarm clocks and day planners
  • school and art supplies
  • backpacks and duffel bags
  • dog food (for street youths’ pets)
  • $5 gift certificates to fast food restaurants
  • $5-$15 gift certificates to pharmacies for prescriptions
  • wallet-sized cards with agency phone numbers and the outreach worker’s names
  • resource lists (e.g., where to find hot meals, food pantries, shelters, or dental and medical care)
  • legal aid information card (explaining where to get legal help and describing legal rights of street youth)


9-5 pm Eastern