Over 1,400 homeless people and individuals facing homelessness gathered at the Colorado Convention Center to access free services offered by nearly 100 organizations at Project Homeless Connect 13; a one-day event that connects people to multiple services in one location.
During Project Homeless Connect 13, people sifted through clothes, learned about various job and education opportunities, received reading glasses, haircuts, health exams and legal advice, applied for public assistance benefits, and formed lasting friendships.
To help guests navigate services, they were paired with volunteers. “My client really needed to be heard, which made the one-on-one connection really rewarding and personable. It was awesome to give him hope for the future and let him know that someone else cared about him. I even gave him my contact information so we can stay in touch,” says volunteer Christal Ruelas.
“It’s powerful to see government, service providers, businesses and volunteers working together to impact and change lives for the better. As I look around, it’s uplifting to see a room filled with hope, smiles and laughter,” Denver’s Road Home Executive Director Bennie Milliner said.
Project Homeless Connect 13 lasted four hours. During this time:
- The Delores Project, New Genesis, Urban Peak, Samaritan House, Mercy Housing, Denver Rescue Mission STAR and Volunteers of America provided housing and shelter information to 1,303 people
- Nelson Ministries gave away clothing to 974 people
- Businesses and organizations in the job readiness and education section connected over 700 people to information
- Walgreens gave 540 people flu shots
- Homeless Court Judge Raymond N. Satter heard 318 cases
- Metro CareRing and the State of Colorado provided licenses and identification cards to 310 people
- Hairstylists snipped hair for 295 adults and children
- Regis University provided medical and counseling services to 225 people
- The total number of homeless guests and individuals at-risk of becoming homeless that attended was 1,451
“When you look at these numbers, it’s truly incredible to see how many people we helped in just four short hours,” Milliner said.
“Once again, we came together as a community to help each other, and we changed lives on the way,” Mile High United Way President & CEO Christine Benero said.
Project Homeless Connect 13 was coordinated by Denver’s Road Home, Mile High United Way and the City and County of Denver with support from Metropolitan State University of Denver, Regis University and several community organizations. It was sponsored by Bank of America, ReadyTalk, US Bank and Xerox.
Since 2005, Denver Project Homeless Connect has helped more than 10,000 guests thanks to the support of over 9,000 volunteers.
To view video footage from Project Homeless Connect 13, visit http://bit.ly/19u686y.