9th Annual Homeless Project Connect

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Jan. 29, 2015 (San Diego) San Diego held it’s 9th annual Homeless Project Connect. This event is a resource fair for the homeless in the city of San Diego. It hosts more than 80 service providers, and had more than 400 volunteers. It attracted over 800 homeless, where they could get a warm meal, and connect with services. If they wanted it, they could also get a free flu vaccine.

According to Council Member Todd Gloria, “this is an entry point. This is treating symptoms, not solving the root cause of any problem.” He added that this is an opportunity to have an intervention and for some this will be a way to get them off the streets and towards housing.

We also talked a tad on the $16 million grant the county got. This grant “will be used in a multitude of services and housing programs county wide.” One of the items this will go for is the Homeless Management Information System, which is an electronic database that all providers are now using. This will hopefully prevent the “duplication of effort” among multiple providers, meaning more people can be served.

The problem is not just limited to San Diego, but county wide, and everybody wants to stop it.

We also talked about veterans in the streets. “Veterans make 20 percent or so of last year’s count.” He added that there is optimism since “The Obama administration though the Veterans Administration has made a significant investment in a new program with the goal of ending veteran homelessness. We are starting to see cities across the country declare an end to veteran homelessness.”

Gloria is hopeful that since the city is getting some of those dollars as well, and with events like Homeless Connect, they can move on to end veteran homelessness in the city of San Diego.

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Reporting San Diego also talked with Vraney del Real, with the County, who represented the Employment portion of Mental Health Systems. They assist clients with developing resumes, giving them job leads and other specific items that a client will need to get a job.

They also do community outreach and develop relationships with employees. This is one large challenge for people who are homeless, getting their first job.

There were other services, such as a shower, a meal, a quick medical check. There were people washing feet of homeless people. This is something that might seem strange, but homeless people can develop a slew of feet problems due to not getting them washed regularly. There was also spiritual help for those who needed it.

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Categories: Homelessness, policy

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