Project Homeless Connect

Rating: 4.61 stars   87 reviews

Issues:

Location: 25 Van Ness Street 3rd Floor San Francisco CA 94112 USA

Mission: The mission of Project Homeless Connect (PHC) is to connect San Francisco’s homeless with the system of care that will help them move off the streets and into housing. Project Homeless Connect (PHC), a national best practice model, originated in San Francisco under Mayor Gavin Newsom in October 2004. Today, PHC is emulated in 170 cities across the United States as well as Canada, Puerto Rico and Australia. Every other month over 1000 community volunteers partner with city government, non-profits and the private sector to provide a one-stop shop of health and human services for homeless San Franciscans. Services include medical, mental health, substance abuse, housing, dental, SSI benefits, legal counseling, eyeglasses, California ID, food, voicemail, employment counseling and job placement, wheelchair repair and more. As of September 2008, 18,600 volunteers have provided services to 26,600 homeless and poor San Franciscans.
Results: San Francisco Connect, Inc. is one of the most innovative partnerships between a city, its residents and its sectors. Project Homeless Connect has been adopted by the National Department of Housing and Development as as a National Best Practice model, and has been copied in over 220 cities across the United States in addition to engaging over 20,000 volunteers from San Francisco and the greater Bay Area. Puerto Rico, Canada and Australia have also adopted Project Homeless Connect as a model towards ending homelessness. For more information visit: www.projecthomelessconnect.org
Target demographics: San Francisco Homeless, San Francisco Citizens, San Francisco Youth and their families, Low income youth and their families, residents of public housing, limited English speaking communities and the disabled who have limited access to computers and the internet.
Geographic areas served: San Francisco
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Community Reviews

Rating: 4 stars  

17 people found this review helpful

After volunteering at Project Homeless Connect for the very first time, the great experience I encountered will be instilled within me throughout my life. This momentous occasion, positively affects the lives for all people including the homeless and everyone who offered their time and services to them. Volunteering as an escort, however, I observed many positive and negative aspects about the event throughout the day. I discovered that the event was very well organized and that the people in charge were highly experienced in managing the whole process. Despite its organization, there was little to be done about the time wasted for people who had to wait for services they needed. I remember I had to escort JP to get his DMV I.D. but he saw that the line was so long, that he did not even bother to obtain it. Especially in the vision center, people had to wait by appointment that were two or three hours later in the day. This event should offer two stations for the most visited and needed services by the homeless, which could make the waiting time much faster. Before ever knowing what Project Homeless Connect was, I thought that our class would just be serving food to the homeless. Upon arrival, I saw that it was much more than that. I think that offering free under one-roof comprehensive services improves homelessness because it is one step closer for the homeless to make their life a little easier and improve their way of living much better. The various services they offer is more efficient and manageable being together in the same area, rather than having to go from place to place seeking their different needs. Since San Francisco has decreased their services I believe that Project Homeless Connect is the way to go. Obviously with regular clinic hours, individuals can get help daily, but for the people who operate the clinic regularly, it does not benefit the city. Which is why I stress the importance of Project Homeless Connect every two months. This is the place to get everything done all in one day. Offering different services right near each other in one building saves time and money. This way everyone can benefit from this situation including the homeless, service providers, volunteers, and the city. If healthcare was available for all individuals using this model, I believe that people would be hesitant to accept it. I believe that with more and more experience that Project Home Connect has, the better it is going to be operated. So with healthcare I believe that at first they would not choose this path. but after seeing and experiencing so many services all in one area, I believe that people would choose this. I also believe a lot of people would not choose this direction for healthcare because of how compacted and overcrowded it can possibly be. Unless the operation was done in an enormous complex, then it would be well conducted.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

HAVE UNLIMITED POSSIBILITIES IN CARING FOR THE HOMELESS ALL OVER THE WORLD

Ways to make it better...

I was a service provider and not an escort.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

One thing I'd also say is that...

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-2-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

16 people found this review helpful

Working for a few hours at Project Homeless Connect was so satisfying that I wonder why more people, including myself, don’t volunteer more. It was so much fun meeting the people I would otherwise never have met. The highlight was getting to know the other volunteers, such as the man I sat next to who happens to be a research scientist in the cardiology department at a local hospital. Some of the clients seeking services were likewise interesting. For example, I met a young couple who had just moved to San Francisco and are just getting acquainted with the city. Project Homeless Connect (PHC) is an ambitious program that tries to cater to as much of the needs of the homeless and other disenfranchised members of the city. It is a great model for nonprofit organizations in other cities. The problem of homelessness is a complicated one that has no one particular remedy but a well organized, staffed and comprehensive entity like PHC goes a long way to chip away at some of the problems that the homeless may have, one day at a time. It was obvious that the services provided, such as free medical services, vision and hearing tests and aids, obtaining identification cards, housing, phone and banking services, were highly sought after and much appreciated. Although these services are provided in the city at clinics and offices open during regular business hours, this project drew in many people that would otherwise not (and obviously don’t) go to these other service providers. Perhaps it was because the services were provided under-one roof, making it easy to access. Nevertheless, it appears that both forms of services, PHC and clinics/offices, are needed and in greater supply as problems that were being presented to the medical staff were for the most part chronic ones be it requests for mental help or substance abuse issues, hypertension and diabetes that require close follow up. Project Homeless Connect is in some ways a model for the implementation of a form of universal healthcare coverage system. It is an efficient program that addresses the many needs of the community through volunteer work. It can work as an adjunct/gate keeper/triage for medical offices, hospitals, and other service providers in the private sector (medical, banking, alternative healthcare) and those provided by the government (hosing, DMV, social security, medical etc..). Here is an idea, maybe this can be the impetus for getting a business license in the city—you must volunteer your services to the community once or twice a year. It’s a win-win situation, where the community is served and you serve the community without increasing your taxes or costing the city much money. If healthcare were provided through this form of system, I think many people would take advantage of it. It could possibly lead people to address medical problems they would otherwise ignore for lack of insurance. If this seems too ambitious, PHC can also lead to the genesis of smaller projects, such as hearing and vision clinics, that cater to the community on a long term basis, run by volunteers; these were services that were the most sought after and depleted the fastest at PHC. I suppose this is just wishful thinking on my part, spurred on by our newly elected President who recently asked Congress to put a down payment for a future universal healthcare system. Seeing how well it was attended by volunteers and clients, Project Homeless Connect should and will continue its commendable work. Other cities should follow suite.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

increase alotment of some services that ere in higherdemand such as vision,audiology and dental care services

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

feeling as though I was aa part of a collective that was trying to achive a positve and meaningful outcome/experience for someone else

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Were happy to be there willing and ready to help

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

help implement sister programs throughout cities in surrounding cities as well as the country while boosting services it provides

Ways to make it better...

there were a way to see and track the impact of services provided has on the clients

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

The current economic crisis that may lead to the reduction of the types and numbers of services that may be provided

One thing I'd also say is that...

It may be more helpful to the clients if there were more ways to advertise upcoming events along with indications of the types of services that will be available

Should this review be counted for a specific campaign?

student

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-1-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

16 people found this review helpful

Having the opportunity to volunteer and serve to PHC is an uplifting and memorable experience. At first, I wasn't sure of what to do, how to act and how to provide service. When I get to escort a client and his husband, I realized it wasn't hard after all. We went to different services and seeing their enthusiasm made me feel honored. They were like a child in a big arcade. They took advantage of every single service they can avail for the day. I just wished PHC can stay for 1 week. It is really nice to have this kind of health care service for them. I am also impressed by all the other volunteers (nurses, doctors, hair dressers, etc). They were all professional and genuinely sincere of the service they were providing. It is such a wonderful experience. The last thing I will never forget was when we have to go back to class and my client said thank you and shook my hand whispering "God bless you". It was really a pleasure and I won't hesitate to serve again.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the service I provided to my client. She really appreciated me escorting her until I left. In an instance, I thought she felt important.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

nice and very professional

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

build a clinic.

Should this review be counted for a specific campaign?

USF student

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-2-01

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

18 people found this review helpful

After volunteering for the morning shift of Project Homeless Connect on February 11, 2009 I was taken back by both the turnout of those in need, as well as the wide range of services offered. At the end of my shift I had mixed feelings about the event. There were many things I liked. I thought it was well organized and had a lot of crucial services that would be hard to obtain for the homeless population otherwise. Additionally, it was obvious that this was not only appreciated by the local community, but supported by as well through volunteer hours and donations. I think if we had to choose, it would be better to have Project Homeless Connect every two months, than to have a clinic with regular hours. I think this because with so many services available in one spot, there is a better chance that this will get the homeless all the services they need, versus just one service attended to at the clinic. Lastly, I believe that this event helps to alleviate homelessness, rather than reinforce it. I think many of the clients saw this as a chance to get parts of their lives together and get moving on the right track. However, there are also some things I thought could be improved upon. While I was working the check-in area I noticed that the two most demanded services were dental and vision work. But, these two services were the first ones that were overbooked and became unavailable. I think time and money could be better spent expanding those two services. Additionally, I don’t think that this type of healthcare would work for the whole community. First, I don’t think there would b enough consistent volunteers or donations to support the event for everyone who lived in the city. Secondly, I think that there would be a big demand for specialists that could not be supplied. I believe that this is a crucial event for the homeless population of San Francisco and that as it continues things will progressively improve and become more efficient.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I saw the results in the instant gratification of those who were in need. In particular, one family who was extremely grateful.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Try to "beef up" the dental and vision areas of the event, because they were in such high demand.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The better understanding of the homeless community and their needs.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

A wide range of people from homeless to doctors. You could tell everyone there had a passion to be helpling.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

possibly alleviate homelessness not only in San Francisco, but in the whole bay area.

Ways to make it better...

I dont think much could have made it better. More hands on work would have been nice, but I hope to get that as I advance in nursing school/

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

trying to accommodate all the variety of needs of the homeless.

One thing I'd also say is that...

its a great chance to give back to the community if you ever get the chance!

Should this review be counted for a specific campaign?

USF School of Nursing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-2-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I brought 60 students from the University of San Francisco School of Nursing and was really impressed by the infectious enthusiasm. The formerly homeless who work with Project Homeless Connect are really incredible individuals who inspire with their cheerful hard work.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

working with Henry

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Serve as a model for health care and social welfare for all residents

Should this review be counted for a specific campaign?

University of San Francisco School of Nursing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-2-01

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

16 people found this review helpful

I have been volunteering at the food bank, handing out food to the clients to take with them when they leave.I always find this experience very rewarding.It's a great way to do something for others in our fine city of San Francisco!

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

friendly, helpful and unselfish.....

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-7-01

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Rating: 3 stars  

13 people found this review helpful

SF Homeless Connect gives a face to homelessness for the wider socially concerned community. Every SF Connect Volunteer I've ever spoken with has felt like they had a satisfying experience and felt like they understood homelessness just a little bit better. This is valuable. Every SF Homeless Connect client that I spoke with (as a case manager at a residential hotel) was pleased that they got free stuff. Some received services that they perhaps wouldn't otherwise have accessed. They also usually experienced a pleasant day interacting with friendly people, when often times they're treated terribly. These are decent outcomes. This event perhaps allows service providers to access a wider range of clients (though it's not like they weren't getting any business before SF Connect started). The value of this is debatable. My main concern regarding this event is that, while giving volunteers the impression that they are having an incredible impact on homelessness, this event actually does little to lessen chronic homelessness (a very complicated issue that simply cannot begin to be solved in events that happen every two months). I like SF Homeless Connect, and I think it should stay- it indeed has a wonderful and unique quality of bringing the city together. But it's not going to be effective if volunteer involvement stops with SF Connect. Those involved with SF Homeless Connect need to assess how they can mobilize the incredible public support they have to create far more lasting change in their clients lives. There is a lot happening in the city that could use the support of the SF Homeless Connect volunteer base and would create more sustainable change on homelessness.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

volunteer appreciation of the opportunity to connect with the homeless population. SF Connect clients accessing services at the event

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

my interaction with clients

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

nice

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

it should provide more lasting solutions to the issues

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2007-4-01

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

the show of people gathered together in a harmony of selflessness, talents, motivations, and trust is a reason to go to PHC. the ability to see the assistance in overwellming numbers ease the mind what we can accomplish together.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the media and the spread of the program in many different cities of USA..and let not forget some of the clients who moved on

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

recommend giving individuals (gardending back grounds) vegatable seeds to plant throughout the city. sign up clients to assist in training for the following scientific, student, and business research. entertainment education physical sports research (from street to careers) design/engineering (art/water) citi farmer/ing wonder why bay to breakers, AIDS, cancer, anti-war advocates, etc. are able to involve 100,000+ participants and not for 8000+homeless to assist in a 24hr long social services science.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

getting to know who was there.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

ready to get the job done, right.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

purchase veggie/berries seeds to assist in feeding & decrease panic during disasters. purchase washing/water to help give our friends the able speak to with us comfortably. hot towels? towels? design washing stations connected to fire hydrant ..easy access for fire and shut offs. volunteering rotations to make sure the fausets don't run...we can deal with water waste to help clean up what we forgot to design for a city (i.e. we let corporation do the same.... fire hydrants connection maps?

Ways to make it better...

we could have had the PHC set-up for a all night services sleep over... practice in NERT

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

patience and motivation. unrecognizable space

One thing I'd also say is that...

San Francisco is made out of leaders to not utilize their talents is a wasteful display of the mind.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2007-5-01

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 4 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

I thought it was great. The volunteer coordinator placed me quickly and I was busy throughout. The people who were coming for services seemed pleased, and I connected with people I normally don't connect with. It felt like a lot of love was being shared

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the number of people being served and the number of people volunteering

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2007-8-01

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 4 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

This is a great event that is highly beneficial for so many homeless people. All the services are very useful and in great demand.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the turnout.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

seeing how happy it makes the people.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

generous and very helpful.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

hold an event like this every week.

Ways to make it better...

there were more booths, especially clothing.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

One thing I'd also say is that...

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