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indinat

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Review for Project Homeless Connect, San Francisco, CA, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

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

Role:  Volunteer & check in.