Project Homeless Connect 2016

Date: August 29, 2016

“I’ve been in and out of shelters for the past two years and always felt inferior. Today, I felt like the most important person in the room. I felt listened to and I got the help I needed. Thank you so much.” -Project Homeless Connect participant

Hope and help for children and families facing homelessness.

Project Homeless Connect returns to the Baltimore Convention Center again on September 30 (with set-up and special new Mission of Mercy Dental clinic on September 29). Project Homeless Connect is one of the most inspirational volunteer opportunities available in central Maryland that not just addresses a pressing need in this region but also provides an unforgettable, rewarding experience. Volunteers serve as guides and are matched one-on-one with participants to assist them throughout the day. Some volunteers even get to cuddle babies and play with small children so parents in need can access services like job placement, food and clothing, flu shots, dental care, eyeglasses and more.

Why does something like identification matter for a person experiencing homelessness? It’s an essential prerequisite to housing, employment and government benefits. Half of the participants attending Project Homeless Connect last year lacked an ID.  That’s why United Way partnered with the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration to do something about it – and began Project ID Connect. These ID Days are hosted at local shelters and drop-in centers throughout the area. To date, we’ve issued nearly 1,400 IDs.

United Way of Central Maryland’s Project Homeless Connect has grown by 200 percent in just a few years. “I am disappointed we are the largest Project Homeless Connect in the country,” said Mark Furst, United Way of Central Maryland president and CEO. “That’s why United Way is committed not just to providing services to meet the immediate needs, but also to addressing the root causes of homelessness, through programs like identification days and the Docket for Homeless Persons. Plus, United Way’s overarching work is family stability – helping people become self-sufficient through education, housing, employment and health.”

Why does something like identification matter for a person experiencing homelessness? It’s an essential prerequisite to housing, employment and government benefits. Half of the participants attending Project Homeless Connect last year lacked an ID.  That’s why United Way partnered with the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration to do something about it – and began Project ID Connect. These ID Days are hosted at local shelters and drop-in centers throughout the area. To date, we’ve issued nearly 1,400 IDs.

 

United Way also worked with partners to bring the Docket for Homeless Persons here to Baltimore a few years ago. This invaluable service helps homeless individuals access services like mental health and job training and get the help they need versus criminal penalties for minor offenses like alcohol (open container) or trespassing. It’s hard not to trespass when you’re living on the streets and have nowhere to go.

For more inspiration, watch the Project Homeless Connect Event Video or check out recaps from last year’s Project Homeless Connect which helped nearly 2,000 people, as well as our first Project Homeless Connect Hartford County in January of 2016, which helped more than 450 individuals and families.

3 COMMENTS

  1. I would like to volunteer for Project Homeless Connect. Two years ago, I also volunteered form this worthwhile program.

    • Please let me know if I have been accepted as a volumteer

  2. I would like to volunteer for this project, and this will be my second time doing so.

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For more than 90 years, United Way of Central Maryland has been improving lives in the communities it serves: Anne Arundel County, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County and Howard County, Maryland.

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