Press Release

Mayor Newsom Marks the Last Project Homeless Connect of the Year with Permanent City Home

12/8/10- Mayor Gavin Newsom today marked the 37th Project Homeless Connect (PHC) event held at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium by announcing the opening of a permanent PHC office location at 187 Golden Gate Avenue early next year. The PHC office will provide information and referral services for clients needing assistance navigating the system of care in between the large bi-monthly events.

“Project Homeless Connect has changed the lives of thousands of people on the streets of San Francisco, enlisting thousands of volunteers to connect people in need with services and supportive housing,” said Mayor Newsom. “We’re moving in a different direction on homelessness, putting politics aside in favor of smart policy and measurable outcomes, with a 40% reduction in homelessness on our streets since I’ve been mayor. We must continue to make progress on homelessness, and the new permanent home for Project Homeless Connect will help ensure we keep moving in the right direction.”

PHC began in October 2004, under the direction of Mayor Newsom, with fewer than 300 volunteers surveying the homeless in downtown San Francisco. Since its inception, 31,911 clients have accessed services through PHC, and were assisted by 20,644 volunteers. San Francisco’s PHC is a proven and effective “best practices” national model that has been duplicated in similar programs in more than 221 cities across the country, and also internationally in Australia and Canada.

“Mayor Newsom’s energy and devotion to solutions-based approaches to homelessness have been very effective, making Project Homeless Connect an integral part of his legacy,” said Barbara Poppe, Executive Director of the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness. “Project Homeless Connect’s success story in San Francisco has led to replication in over 200 cities nationwide.”

“Project Homeless Connect, created soon after the Ten Year Plan, has proved to be a template for all major cities as a ‘how to’ tool in successfully addressing the most serious needs of our homeless population,” said former Supervisor Angela Alioto, Chair of the San Francisco Ten Year Plan Council to End Chronic Homelessness. “It is also a perfect example of how incredible San Franciscans are when it comes to volunteering to help those most in need. I’m very proud to be a part of both of these nationally recognized homeless programs that are rooted in our City and its values.”

Lead by the Department of Public Health and the Human Service Agency, hundreds of corporations, nonprofits, and government agencies collaborate to provide PHC and its clients with services such as dental care, eyeglasses, family support, food, HIV testing, housing, hygiene products, medical care, mental health services, substance abuse treatment, SSI benefits, legal advice, California identification cards, voice mail, employment counseling and job placement, wheelchair repair, methadone, needle exchange, and more.

Since January 2004, from combined outreach and housing efforts including PHC, the Care Not Cash, Housing First, Direct Access to Housing and Homeward Bound initiatives, a total of 12,210 homeless single adults have left San Francisco’s streets or our City’s shelter system for permanent housing and supportive environments and made a 40 percent reduction in the street homeless population.

For more information on PHC, go to: www.projecthomelessconnect.com .