ON-SITE SERVICES FOR THE LOCAL HOMELESS COMMUNITY
One of the most difficult parts about being homeless is getting around to access different services that are needed to move forward. This barrier is eliminated at our annual Project Homeless Connect event where thousands of families and individuals facing homelessness receive medical exams and screenings, haircuts, legal advice, identification, healthy food and more – all in one place at one time.
Project Homeless Connect is a national best practice model that has been replicated in over 300 cities to date. Homeless and at-risk participants are paired with a volunteer guide, who travels with the participant throughout the event, helps them access services and gets to know them over the course of the day. The personal connection formed is impactful for both the guide and the participant, creating community connections, increasing civic engagement and providing vital resources.
CULTIVATING VOLUNTEERISM & COMMUNITY
Year after year, the vast majority of participants report that their favorite part of Project Homeless Connect was sharing the day with their guide. The experience is transformative for volunteers as well: they see first hand how hard it can be to live in poverty, and many are so moved by their experience that they later go on to become engaged in other ways to give back to the community. The event is also an opportunity for service learning, and college and university students make up the majority of the volunteers. Many students and faculty report that the event helps to open their eyes to the reality of need in the community and causes them to rethink many of the stereotypes and misconceptions about poverty and homelessness.