Project Homeless Connect Launches Every Day Connect
Pioneering New Service Offers Help to City’s Most Vulnerable Every Day
Mayor Edwin M. Lee and Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom today launched a new Project Homeless Connect service – Every Day Connect – to meet the needs of people every day who are homeless or in danger of becoming homeless.
“Homeless individuals experience challenges in life every day,” said Mayor Lee. “Their problems don’t fall into regular working hours. With Every Day Connect in place now, people who are homeless can request services any time by utilizing the toll-free helpline to seek assistance and get a chance to get connected with the help they need.”
Every Day Connect is an extension of the City’s eight-year-old Project Homeless Connect (PHC), started by then Mayor Newsom as a national model for one-stop-shop service for people who are homeless or marginally housed in San Francisco. Every Day Connect will make use of PHC’s existing partnerships and collaborations, the large volunteer base and use technology to better meet the needs of those most vulnerable in San Francisco.
PHC holds an event five times a year that serves thousands of people in need. However, five times a year for services is limited. People who are homeless need help every day, beyond food and shelter. Needs that arise daily can be something as simple as a pair of clean socks to a pair of prescription eye glasses.
The new Every Day Connect will provide resource management and services to those need help seven days a week. The requested services can be as basic as a pair of shoes to keep their feet healthy, or dishes for a new apartment they’ve just moved into, or clothing appropriate for a job interview. Every Day Connect will make sure their needs are met. Every Day Connect staff will also connect clients to many of the services they have come to expect at the PHC events including vision, hearing, dental, medical, mental health, addiction and recovery, homeless prevention, Social Security and employment.
“If we are to really find a long-term solution to homelessness, if we are to really reach out and help those most in need, we need to be able to help them every single day,” said Department of Public Health (DPH) Director Barbara Garcia. “We created a national model with Project Homeless Connect, and we know we are doing the same with Every Day Connect. It’s a unique idea, because instead of asking the homeless to come to us when we are ready, it says we are ready whenever you come to us.”
Experience has shown that people are more likely to access the services they need if they don’t have to travel to multiple locations. Every Day Connect makes it easy for participants to get the help they need by initiating a phone call.
DPH set up a toll-free helpline at 1-855-588-7968 or individuals can just call 311. Once an individual contacts the PHC offices, the individual will be assigned a resource specialist who will follow their needs from start to finish.
San Franciscans can assist by following Every Day Connect on Twitter @phcsf, and “like” it on Facebook. Every Day Connect will continue to engage the PHC volunteer base by using social media to post the needs of the clients every day, and people can provide the needed services by responding to the postings on Twitter and Facebook.
The DPH will continue its current schedule of providing a bi-monthly Project Homeless Connect event at various locations throughout the City, including Bill Graham Auditorium, Bay View Hunters Point, and other locations as the need arises. For more information, go to: www.projecthomelessconnect.org.