Services to the Homeless


The relationship between sexual assault and homelessness is multi-faceted and can be both a casual factor and a consequence with either experience potentially laying the groundwork for the other. As an example, research shows that 41 percent of homeless women are survivors of child sexual abuse or of partner rape, both of which can be precipitating factors to homelessness.  Moreover, living on the streets and in shelters makes women more vulnerable to sexual assault. In interviews conducted by Preble Street, 44 percent of women reported suffering a sexual assault since becoming homeless.   Lack of safe housing can create a culture in which sexual violence is normalized and contributes to the sexual exploitation and victimization that is a means of survival for many.

For the last five years, SARSSM has prioritized expanding its services to the homeless population in Southern Maine.  Our homeless clients experience multiple barriers to accessing services and so, our Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) Advocates bring our services directly to this population.  SARSSM’s SART Advocates provide regular outreach and support groups at Preble Street’s Florence House and Teen Center.  Additionally, our Advocates work one-on-one helping survivors explore options and access other community resources.

Services include:

  • On-site outreach and support groups
  • One-to-one meetings to provide emotional support and advocacy
  • Written materials for victims of sexual assault
  • Access to the MeCASA lending library
  • Advocacy with the health care needs associated with the sexaul assault
  • Accompaniment and advocacy regarding law enforcement and legal appointments/court dates
  • Resource identification and referrals
  • Advocacy and collaboration wtih other social service providers

Accessing our services:

  • Call our 24/7 Crisis & Support Line at 1-800-313-9900
  • Ask your case worker to request a meeting with a SART Advocate
  • Send an email to infosars [at] sarsonline [dot] org