Community Outreach

Family & Children’s Service of Ithaca hosts community and rural outreach programs to serve individuals in need within their communities to help ensure that basic needs are met, and to aid them in getting connected with relevant resources.

Outreach Program Hours are 9:00am – 5:00pm Monday to Friday. All outreach services are provided to community members free of charge.

At this time, our Outreach Team is unable to respond to crisis calls. For questions about this program please contact:


Wade Carmichael, Youth and Outreach Director 
Phone: 607 – 273- 7494
Fax: (607) 273-1295

Downtown Community Outreach Worker

The Outreach Workers gently travel throughout the downtown corridor – which extends from Meadow Drive to Aurora Street, and from Court Street to Green Street, and includes support to the Tompkins County Public Library and Dewitt Park – keeping an eye open for people who are exhibiting signs of distress.

The Outreach Workers aim to support a welcoming and inclusive downtown community by engaging people with a kind attitude, often needed to de-escalate potential conflicts.

The program is funded by Tompkins County, City of Ithaca, Downtown Ithaca Alliance (DIA) and other local funders. The program is hosted by Family & Children’s Services.

For Individuals the Outreach Workers can assist if you:

  • Could use someone to talk to, food or other basic needs.
  • Need help identifying resources that would best meet your needs.
  • Need help getting connected to services.

Area business may also seek the outreach workers’ assistance if there are minor conflicts with pedestrians that could use mediation. You can expect the outreach workers to help:

  • If you are concerned about an individual in distress or behaving in an unusual way (such as sleeping in public, appearing to be under the influence, etc.)
  • If you see a conflict between individuals.
  • If you would like to refer someone in need for services, or request support from a human service agency, but are not sure where to start.
  • When situations occur, and you feel an individual may need help, but are not sure whether calling the police is the right action.

In the event of a serious safety concern, the police should always be called. This program does not replace the role of trained police officers in an emergency.

Rural Outreach Program

  • If you are concerned about an individual in distress or behaving in an unusual way (across the county, outside of downtown)
  • If you are aware of individuals needing transportation to and from medical appointments or other life-sustaining transportation needs
  • If you would like to refer someone in need of social services
  • If you know someone in a rural area that is in a food desert, service desert, etc.; Rural Outreach Workers have access to an outreach van and can assist in delivering life-sustaining supplies

“Hot Spots” (high needs areas) have been identified by the IPD, Tompkins County Sheriff’s Offices, the TCMH Mobile Crisis Team, school counselors across the County, Property Management across different residential communities, librarians, concerned neighbors, and more . . . The Rural Outreach Program targets areas that have frequent police presence, and works to stabilize folks with high call volume across the county to decrease police contact and decrease carceral intervention while in the meantime, increasing social service connection, access to basic needs, and linkage to community support.