The mission of Project Homeless Connect (PHC) is to connect homeless San Franciscans with the care they need to move forward.
An estimated 4,550-7,550* people in San Francisco have no place to call home. Widespread foreclosures, the demands of returning veterans, and the reduction of federal funding for affordable housing create constant challenges. Dealing with the vexing problem requires intervention not only by government but also the community at large.
In 2004, the San Francisco Department of Public Health created Project Homeless Connect as a way to bring necessary services to the homeless. Key staff realized the need for a new and unique approach. They understood that conventional methods of service did not effectively meet the needs of the homeless.
Because of Project Homeless Connect, a person experiencing homelessness is able to obtain as many services in one day as would otherwise take months. During each event, corporations, nonprofits, and government agencies provide PHC and its participants with services such as dental care, eyeglasses, HIV testing, housing, food, hygiene products, medical care, mental health services, SSI benefits, legal advice, California identification cards, voice mail accounts, employment counseling/job placement, wheelchair repair, addiction services, and more.
In response to the changing needs of the homeless and low-income population, PHC continues to reshape its outreach strategy and improve available services. Recent modifications have included events specifically designed for families, as well as members of the LGBTQ community.
As of March 2014, 49,729 volunteers provided services to 75,625 homeless and low-income San Franciscans. The federal government’s Interagency Council on Homelessness has declared Project Homeless Connect a national best practice model. PHC has been replicated in over 260 cities across the United States, as well as in Canada and Australia.* For more information see 2011 San Francisco Homeless Point-In-Time Count & Survey Executive Summary & Comprehensive Report
The goals of Project Homeless Connect are to:
- Improve access to services for San Francisco’s homeless.
- Engage with and maintain an active, involved volunteer base that consists of local businesses, nonprofits, and individual community members all working together to help end homelessness.
- Improve the system of care through collaboration and the sharing of best practices among San Francisco’s homeless service provider community.
- Partner with the private sector, corporations, and foundations to expand service capacity and funds.