-Judith Klain, Director, Project Homeless Connect
Since it’s inception, Project Homeless Connect continues to foster an unprecedented spirit of involvement from more than 17,000 volunteers whose sole mission is to help connect the city’s most vulnerable community to the essential city services and programs they need on the road toward self-sufficiency. What began as a local outreach effort of 250 city workers, has now evolved into a model program for more than 70 other municipalities nationwide. Notably PHC has gone global with Canada, Australia, and Puerto Rico now duplicating San Francisco’s homeless outreach model.
Mayor Newsom’s highly acclaimed outreach effort remains a critical component in addressing widespread homelessness in San Francisco. Connecting homeless and near-homeless citizens to vital services was a huge accomplishment for Project Homeless Connect in 2006. Data gathered for a 2006 “year in review “ of PHC reflects a successful homeless outreach program of which all San Franciscans can be proud:
• 8,659 extraordinary individuals volunteered to help connect the city homeless to services and programs
• 9,738 clients participated in PHC
• 1,970 individuals received benefits assistance (SSI, Food stamps, GA)
• 1,142 individuals were screened for employment opportunities with 39 successful hirings through Safeway, CBS Outdoor, and SF Department of Human Services.
• 1,735 individuals received medical care • 1,036 individuals received legal assistance
• 560 individuals received methadone treatment
• 1,096 individuals received dental screens
• 520 individuals received mental health and substance abuse services
• 99,089 lbs of groceries were given away by the SF Food Bank
• 73 individuals were reconnected to family or friends through the City’s Homeward Bound Program
• 902 individuals were assisted off the streets and provided with shelter and housing
Greater public/private involvement also continued to gain momentum as the outreach program went into its second year in 2006.
• Grand Central provided 849 free voicemail subscriptions
• FedEx and Sprint Nextel connected 4,835 clients to friends and family through mailings and phone calls
• Lenscrafters distributed more than 1,000 pairs of eyeglasses
• SMG Catering provided 10,196 lunches
• Levi Strauss & Co., and Deloitte Consulting distributed jeans and shoes to 5,000 people
• CSAA assembled and distributed 7,300 hygiene kits
Project Homeless Connect is a key component of Mayor Newsom’s 10-year plan to abolish homelessness in San Francisco. For more information or how you may volunteer, please visit SFConnect.org.