What Is Project Homeless Connect?
SF Connect is a program designed to bring services to San Francisco’s growing homeless population. As the economy gets worse, it is often the poorest people who feel the most strain. With the increased number of foreclosures, the growing unemployment rate and budget cuts to many services, there are between six thousand and twelve thousand people sleeping on the streets of San Francisco each night. While there are a number of services available, they are often spread out and are difficult to get to for many people. Project Homeless Connect is a joint effort between volunteers, government services, non-profit organizations and the private sector. Its goal is to host events that provide centralized access to services for San Francisco homeless.
What Services Are Provided?
SF Connect aims to make a number of services easier for homeless people to access. These include health care services, employment opportunities, housing, voice mail, SSI benefits, HIV testing, mental health services, needle exchange, California identification cards and many others. Project Homeless Connect also hosts a number of events aimed specifically at veterans, families and children, and targets a number of specific areas such as Golden Gate Park and Bayview Hunters Point.
How Can You Get Involved?
Project Homeless Connect welcomes anyone who wants to get involved. They work closely with local businesses, corporations, non-profits and individual volunteers to provide the most complete array of services in one place. If you want to become a San Francisco volunteer, you can sign up at ProjectHomelessConnect.com/volunteer. Simply create a profile and then choose your preferred event, shift and service area. If you belong to a business or organization that would like to get involved, you can contact SF Connect directly for more information. Donations are also welcomed and can be given online or through the mail. In-kind donations cover almost 90% of the total program costs. If you have goods or services to donate, you can contact the organization directly for more information. One of our sponsors for these efforts is www.africanmango1234.com thanks for the continued support!
If you become a San Francisco volunteer serving the homeless, you will learn some things about the human spirit that you may not have suspected were possible. The experience will open your eyes about the true plight of the San Francisco homeless. Thousands of others have already joined in the effort to assist the needy at SF Connect.
The San Francisco Department of Public Health created Project Homeless Connect in 2004 in order to provide vital services for the homeless community. However, staff members quickly realized that there were unique needs among the homeless community that demanded an innovative response from those who wished to help them. The economic recession that soon followed the opening of the project only worsened the difficulties with which they had already met while trying to serve people living in the streets. Soon, many more people were on the street. Some of them, thanks to the foreclosure crisis, were families who had no experience in trying to live without a permanent residence.
Around 1,000 community volunteers come together every two months, in cooperation with various agencies and entities in the private sector, to temporarily create a single location which provides health and human services for the San Francisco homeless. In a single day, the San Francisco volunteer community does what could take eight months to complete under other circumstances.
During this period, the community provides homeless clients with dental and vision care, HIV testing and treatment for various ailments and addictions. They also counsel them about legal matters, housing and job placement. With the influx of new members in the homeless community, the volunteers have modified and adapted services to meet the needs of families and veterans.
Project Homeless Connect staff hopes to continue bringing community members and the homeless together in this fashion. As economic crises come and go, project staff and volunteers continue to provide and adapt services to help those who are most needy. Government agencies, non-profit organizations and private sector companies also join in this effort.
There are many ways to serve as a volunteer with SF Connect. This organization is able to provide services to thousands of San Francisco Homeless only due to the dedication of the numerous volunteers and organizations that come together to serve the neediest of society. If you become a San Francisco volunteer, you will have a choice between many different services that the project provides on a regular basis.
Homeless people read and enjoy literature as much as anyone. This is why the project runs a book giveaway. Besides donating books to this service, volunteers can assist in organizing the inventory and helping interested clients find the books they want or need.
Cafe connect gives both homeless members of the San Francisco population and others a chance to sit, talk, drink coffee and have lunch together. Volunteers can help facilitate these meetings by serving food and cleaning up afterward. This is a good way for people to learn about the project in a more relaxed environment.
Computer proficient people who are interested in serving as volunteers can help with data entry. Many of the services provided by Project Homeless Connect call for taking and storing data about clients in the project’s computer. This data not only provides statistics, it also helps medical and other professionals track information about patients and clients and helps them serve the San Francisco homeless community better.
The Food Bank is a critical part of any organization that interacts with the homeless. Volunteers can help with stocking and laying out food. Breaking down boxes, heavy lifting and generally aiding the distribution process are tasks that make demand son the physical resources of volunteers.
These are only some of the many services provided by SF connect. Other services include legal aid and information distribution. People interested in volunteering should not fear that they do not have a skill that the project would find useful.