Nearly 150 persons attended the City's Department of Human Services (Homeless Services Division) and the Continuum of Care for Ending Homelessness (CoC) 6th Annual National Project Homeless Connect (PHC) event on Saturday, December 11, 2010 at Grace Hill Water Tower Auditorium and Neighborhood Center.
National Project Homeless Connect is part of a nationwide initiative to engage the public in developing innovative solutions to homelessness. Project Homeless Connect links homeless individuals to services that include enrollment in mainstream services such as social security and veterans benefits, legal services, employment assistance, substance abuse and mental health counseling, health related services, and access to e-mail and long distance phone calls, chiropractic services, and social services. These services are coordinated in a centralized location with the ultimate goal of housing and self-sufficiency.
This year's event was focused on providing permanent supportive housing for those who qualify; immediate referral to emergency shelter and health care for chronically homeless people. Forty-five units of permanent supportive housing for chronically homeless people were available via the St. Louis City and County's Shelter Plus Care (S+C) Programs, a collaborative effort with the Missouri Department of Mental Health. Also, through the results of receiving $8.4 million in funding last year through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), 32 homeless people had the potential to be housed through the Rapid Re-Housing Program.
This year the most sought out services by participants were housing/shelter, medical services, employment services, and United Way 2-1-1 referral services. More than 50 vendors provided an array of other services, supported by more than 100 volunteers.
Project Homeless Connect builds upon other initiatives the City of St. Louis sponsors each year to connect homeless individuals with supportive services and housing. The city has continued to collaborate with Madison and St. Clair County, IL, who also had very successful PHC events the same week.
For more information on Project Homeless Connect, contact the Homeless Services Division of the Department of Human Services at 314-657-1704.
Department of Human Services