WE WISHING YOU THE LIGHT OF HOPE THAT KEEPS THE FUTURE BRIGHT! ALSO WE'RE SENDING YOU A SPECIAL PRAYER THAT BLESS YOUR LIFE WITH PEACE, JOY AND LOVE IN THE NAME OF LORD FOR TODAY AND ALWAYS. WISHING YOU A CHRISTMAS BLESSED BY GOD'S ETERNAL LIGHT! WE ARE HERE TO HELP OTHER TO BRING THIS LIFE A HOPE A BELIEVE THAT WE ARE ALL IN ONE TO ASSIST THEM AND HELP THEM WITH ALL THE CONTRIBUTIONS FOR THE HEALING OF OTHERS! GOD HELP YOU FOR TO PUT ALL EFFORD FOR THE HEALING UNDER THE HUNGER OF OTHER! CG AGENCY TE OFRECE SU AYUDA POR ESTAR PONIENDO TODOS LOS ESFUERZOS POR LA CURACIÓN EN CONFORMIDAD POR EL HAMBRE DE LOS OTROS!
I volunteered at my first PHC event a year and a half ago and was AMAZED by the number, and variety of services offered. The other main thing I noticed was that the volunteers were well integrated into the consumer population and were, for the most part, providing a much needed service to many clients, someone to talk to. I have since had the privlidge to intern with PHC. It has been a wonderful, eye-opening, experience that I have learned alot from. A great Non-Profit!
Project Homeless Connect is a great way to address the problem of homelessness. The workers are extremely helpful and the services are so diverse that every homeless person who comes there can find something that they need. Despite this, I can’t help but feel that if I needed to choose between Project Homeless Connect every two months and a clinic with regular hours, I would choose the clinic. The reason for this is that Project Homeless is so infrequent that this makes it difficult for a person to get everything they need when they come in. First they need to stand in line to even get into the building. Once this problem is solved, they need to find where their particular needs are located in the building. Even with staff helping, its difficult to get around with so many people. Another problem is that once you get into the building and you find where your particular services are, you have to wait in line once again to use the services. The problem with this is that if you don’t get everything done in time you need to wait another two months to get the chance to try and to finish everything else up. Some people may come in hungry and by eating they may be wasting precious time that they could have spent standing in line to get their ID cards at the DMV. Although Project Homeless has its problems it also has may benefits that clinics may not have. It is convenient that all the services are in one building and that you don’t need to go far to get a haircut or Vision check up. A clinic would need to have the services spread out more if it could offer the same services at all. The clinic would also require that you wait in lines, however you would be more likely to get services sooner because if you miss one day you can always comeback another day. Project Homeless as well as the clinic would have their own problems and benefits, but the important thing is that they would both be very helpful to the people they service regardless of how frequent they are available. Thank you for letting us come to help and see for ourselves the wonderful services you provide! Kat94102
I really enjoyed participating in Project Homeless Connect. Although I have volunteered at homeless shelters like St. Anthony’s in the Tenderloin, I have never experienced anything like this. My job at Project Homeless Connect was a transporter, in that I was responsible for getting the participants from the registration room to their priority destination, whether that be shelter information, vision, DMV, and so on. Even though I only got to spend a maximum of about five minutes per person, I was able to engage in enlightening conversations and be attentive to these people that genuinely needed my help. I felt good about myself. It definitely changed my perspective of homeless people and their lifestyle. I realized that these people are just like any of us, they have feelings, needs, wants, and desires just like we do. And I was honored to be a part of a project like this that can possibly turn some of these people’s lives around. If I would have to choose between a clinic that was open regular hours or Project Homeless Connect that was only available to me every two months, I would undoubtedly choose Project Homeless Connect. Although a clinic may be open, say 9am-5pm, Monday through Friday, their services would most likely be limited. A clinic can only do so much. One specific clinic can only provide health services, another can offer shelter information, and another can educate on needle sterilization. The point is, not one shelter can provide all the services Project Homeless can at once. Granted it is only twice a month, however, twice a month, one can have a vision check up, rapid HIV testing, food, groceries, spiritual healing, DMV services, and even acupuncture. I believe this is a more effective way to help the homeless.
Participating in Project Homeless Connect brought what always seemed like a far distant concern, much closer to home. You hear about the large homeless population in the Bay Area all the time. You see countless stories on the news regarding the need for more shelters and resources as our economy takes a treacherous downturn and dozens of people are losing their jobs daily. But never could I imagine that standing in front of a homeless person could reinforce just how fortunate I am. Team USF took on two roles at this particular event. One was to escort homeless individuals into the auditorium to seek the services they had requested. The other was to assist the homeless clients with the completion of a mandatory intake form before they could participate in these free services. I spent the first half volunteering as an escort for the client. The available services included medical treatment, mental health services, vision and podiatry services, shelter, and housing and employment opportunities. Many people assume that a homeless person lacks the necessary skills to succeed in life. They are presumed to be lazy or addicted to illegal substances, but on the day of our team’s volunteer efforts, I saw a wide variety of HUMANS that were lost and in grave need of support. Homelessness has no boundaries with regard to age, gender, ethnicity or educational background. The youngest person I met was 22 years of age, and had been sleeping on the streets of the Tenderloin since it was the closest neighborhood to Glide Memorial Church, where he frequently sought comfort and assistance. After being laid off of his job and losing his apartment, he was desperately seeking shelter, clothing, and assistance with employment. How did he get to this place in life? Although he had been homeless had living on the streets for only a couple of months, the wear and tear of that life had visibly aged him. The oldest homeless individuals I met were a couple in their late fifties. It was obvious that they were each other’s support systems. They both wanted to seek shelter, DMV services, medical services, and food. They had been living on the streets as a married couple for years and considered themselves fortunate to be receiving the services provided by Project Homeless Connect. Were these services providing them a means to an end? Were these homeless individuals truly getting what they needed to assist them towards a better quality of life? If so, why had they been living on the streets for so long? Halfway through my day, I assisted other volunteers (at folding tables) with the mandatory intake process of all individuals seeking services that day. This provided me a greater opportunity to connect with the homeless on a one to one basis. Through this experience, I learned that not only were individuals distraught and embarrassed about their current living situation, but many did not know what services to ask for or which ones to prioritize. Unfortunately, it appeared that many were suffering from high levels of emotional and physical disparities. I found myself, out of concern for the individuals’ best interest, trying to encourage several people to seek the assistance from the medical or mental health service areas first. Much to my dissatisfaction, most of them were concerned with receiving DMV services and a free lunch. I began to wonder, if I were in their shoes, would I be most concerned about getting food in my stomach instead of seeking the medical care I obviously needed? It appeared as if several of these individuals either didn’t see them as needing medical assistance or were afraid of what that assistance would entail. From my clinical vantage point, I observed that several people smelled of alcohol, appeared shaky and unsteady, feverish or congested, and disoriented or confused about what day it was or what services would provide them the best help. Perhaps the thought that resonated with me the most at the end of the day was what happens to these individuals from here? With no phone to call them on and no address to follow up with, do they simply return to their alleyway and survive the harsh city climate? How many of these individuals seen at this event will overcome the adversity they are faced with? Although I think it is empowering and shows a tremendous sense of compassion for our community to put on an event of this magnitude, I hope that there is a way to create a better follow-up process with the necessary medical care and emotional support. I wonder if the homeless participants should be required to undergo a medical assessment prior to seeking the other services offered. It would be great if there were a basic software system that could track those individuals through thumb scans upon medical check-in to ensure that they have received proper follow-up health care when they return to Project Homeless Connect for future services. Overall, my experience was educational, enlightening, and humbling to say the least. I am grateful for the opportunities I have, the family that cares for me, the economic status I enjoy, and most importantly for my health and well-being. Although there may be no easy and quick answer to the hardships fellow members of our community endure, as long as we have members of our community that continue to care and seek reasonable answers, each and every homeless person has a chance at a happier and healthier tomorrow. Mrs. Nader
The project homeless event on Feb 11 th was an eye opening for me. The event brought together hundreds of volunteers, sponsors and public, private organizations to help thousands of homeless people in a single day. Services include medical, mental health, substance abuse, housing, dental, SSI benefits, legal counseling, eyeglasses, California ID, food, voicemail, employment counseling, telephone service, and job placement provided. I work as escort taking clients from the registration area to their first service and in a couple of occasion I had to stay with my client who is using wheelchair to go around. The client Mr. “A” was very courteous and appreciative. I learn that project homeless connect started in San Francisco in 2004 and now 170 more similar services are started in different parts of the country. Most of the services are given in free clinics or other social programs as I learned from most of the clients who I had a chance to talk to; these individuals are not going to these other services because of different problems. Some mentioned it takes a long time and some don’t have permanent address and means of communication to make appointments to the service agencies. The one day service at the project homeless connect provided different services in timely fashion and most agencies that usually are not found in same place like they are arranged at the event. That makes things easier for them to access the services and it also encouraging. Volunteering at the Project Homeless Connect helps me to appreciate what I have and also understand there are more elements to homelessness and it is a very complicated issue. I also met reformed homeless individuals who is giving back to the community and making good examples to others.
Project Homeless Connect (PHC) is a wonderful program for the homeless in San Francisco. It is amazing how many services are offered at the events for people to utilize. The available services include access to housing, shelters, medical services, and legal advice. The clients seemed to be grateful to have a program such as Project Homeless Connect and it is great to hear that some former clients have found a way to re-assimilate into the community and they are now able to be volunteers themselves and give to others what PHC has given to them. I especially appreciate that PHC offers not just services, but also opportunities to the clients so that they may be able to get back on their feet. For instance, clients could inquire on how they can find employment. I was glad to see that the service of rehabilitation and detox for addiction was available by PHC. It is not easy to break an addiction, but if the clients decide to actively seek help, then PHC is there to aid them in their journey. I do not believe that PHC will reinforce homelessness, because it is only offered every couple of months and that is not often enough for a person thrive on. - HV
Dear Project Homeless Connect Team, I am student at USF, who volunteered at the Project Homeless Connect in February. I greatly appreciate the wonderful services that were provided for everyone. I believe that it is very helpful for people who can’t afford proper health care. I was escorting everyone to their destination in the auditorium. While I was escorting, it gave me a chance to meet different types of people with many different health needs. At times, I felt that too much needed to be done in the limited amount of time. Many people wished to get many services done in one day, but the lines were too long. The housing service was a great help to many of the homeless clients. Overall, Project Homeless Connect was a great place to receive free care. If I had a choice to pick between clinic with regular hours or Project Homeless Connect, I would choose a regular clinic, because it will allow me to spend more time with patients and also be able to do follow-up appointments. I only have been in nursing program for a couple of months, but I have already noticed the importance of privacy and therapeutic communication. I believe if we want to help someone to get better, we should be able to do a follow-up, in order to allow health professional to evaluate their interventions. Follow-ups are required until treatment has succeeded and the patient has returned to their normal functions. When a patient actually realizes that their health is improving, they will eventually return to the clinic to complete their treatment. I really believe that if the problem doesn’t get resolved, then we haven’t met our goal as healthcare professionals. Therefore, we need to work towards a goal that will solve the problem completely. Student, Carry
Sal Dali It seems to me that the question on hand should not be whether Project Homeless Connect ameliorates or reinforces homelessness, but rather: Is this an adequate way to provide healthcare and other services to an underprivileged part of our society? We should focus our time on what Project Homeless Connect achieves and how it comes across. The experience that I was offered was one never to be forgotten. Having worked with this population before, I was quite excited to be there. I was immediately impressed with immensity of this undertaking; the Bill Graham Auditorium packed with services just for the homeless is a striking sight. There are a handful of organizations throughout the Tenderloin and San Francisco, that offer free or sliding scale healthcare services. On some levels, these services get used extremely well, but, at the same time, they don’t. There are many reasons that would prevent someone from wanting to, or being able to get services at our free clinics when they need them, for instance, people could have a hard time getting appointments. Many people need services immediately and when they reach out, they are given an appointment date for several weeks later. If they need some form of emergency services, they are lucky if they receive a free token to ride the bus to SF General. For one reason or another, most of those who do get appointments have a hard time showing up or following through at the right time. At project homeless connect, there is no right or wrong time as long as you make it there on the right day: almost everyone will be able to see a healthcare provider if they need help. Most importantly, there is a broad spectrum of services being offered, which is very impressive. There are nurses, doctors, podiatrists, obstetricians, HIV rapid testing, food, clothing, psychiatric services, identification services, housing services, and much more. I feel this is a great way to reach out to the homeless, because all of this is under one roof. In the clinical world, providing these services for someone could take weeks—with multiple appointments and several different locations. I commend Project Homeless Connect for making this whole process easier. It is great that a person can have so many needs met all in one place; I saw many people taking advantage of this. I talked to many people at the health fair that were very excited to be there and looked forewords to taking advantage of as many services as they could. There were also those that were just trying to get out of the rain for the day. Should this type of health care be offered to everyone? Probably, not. Health care should have more than one dimension. For many, going having a primary care provider works well. They make an appointment, they show-up, and they follow through. This has been a proven model. But there are many that the traditional healthcare model doesn’t help, as noted earlier. Project Homeless Connect is a new form of healthcare, or at least new to us in San Francisco, which uses a great system that is catering to the needs of those that have a harder time getting these services elsewhere. It is quite an innovative idea for this demographic. It is quite appropriate that we use this type of system and it has been long in the making. I hope in the future that healthcare evolves more and that this type of comprehensive care can be offered more often. Although I don’t know exactly what it takes to pull off a project like Project Homeless Connect, I can only imagine how complicated it is. For that, I take my hat off, especially to those that have probably spent hundreds of hours to ensure that this model works well. Judging by the quality of care that I saw, coupled with the excitement of those that were to receive it as well as the excitement of those providing, I walked away with the feeling that this model is really helping the clients. So when I asked myself: “Does this ameliorate or reinforce homelessness?” I couldn’t help but think that the question should be: “Is this helping people become healthier?” When I asked myself that, I thought, yes, this is really helping homeless people in more ways than one. Not only does this project help people with health-related issues, but it also lets many less fortunate people feel and know that they are important, and that many sincerely care about them and their wellbeing. I felt extremely proud to have been able to participate in this event, even if it was only on a basic level. I felt that all levels of participation are needed to make this event work properly. I can’t wait to participate in Project Homeless Connect again and look forward to being able to be a part of this helpful process.
Volunteering with Project Homeless Connect was a great experience. This program offers assistance with housing, legal issues, health care, and many other basic needs to the homeless population. I played a role in assisting clients by giving directions and escorting them to the areas where they were able to get food, services, and whatever else they needed. In return, they were very grateful for the assistance that was provided to them on my behalf. Today, the challenges that we face are substantially greater than those of the past. The lack of affordable housing, health insurance cutbacks, reduced public assistance, and unaffordable are all contributing factors to evident increase in the homeless population. Thus, homeless individuals struggle even more on a daily basis with the repercussions of unmet basic needs for security, shelter, and stability. That is why Project Homeless Connect is there to reach out for the basic needs of the homeless population. It is a program that increases access to services for the homeless people and to engage local communities in finding solutions for homelessness. Moreover, it displays broad community support to those who are homeless. If I had the opportunity, I would choose to work for Project Homeless Connect rather than a regular clinic for every two months. I believe that this program puts more emphasis on getting things done in one day, unlike a regular clinic. In addition, I would have the wonderful opportunity to work for people, who wish to receive the proper care. Finally, I would definitely want to work with the Project Homeless Connect again if I ever get the chance to. I felt so committed and dedicated in assisting the homeless clients. I felt as if I made a positive difference in the lives of the homeless men, women, and children. It was truly a pleasure and I would love to serve again.