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

Rating: 4 stars  

Volunteering at Project Homeless Connect was such an eye-opening experience for me. I truly believe this organization is improving the homeless situation in San Francisco by providing a multitude of different services under one roof at no charge to the homeless community. These services range from fulfilling basic needs and requirements, such as food, grooming, SSI and DMV id's, to medical services such as dental, vision and chiropracty. These things, of which many of us take for granted, are obstacles for homeless individuals to overcome, but PHC provides a platform by making these services accessible to those who would not otherwise be able to receive it. The time I spent volunteering there made me feel great in terms of giving back to the community. There is a great sense of camaraderie at Project Homeless Connect that you simply cannot miss. This experience redefined what "homelessness" resembles to me. It made me realize that these were people who simply "fell through the cracks," just as any other person could, and need a helping hand to get them back on track. Especially in times like these, I can see why people may be living from paycheck-to-paycheck, and be on the verge of living on the streets. It's a tough situation to visualize, but volunteering and helping out someone who truly needs it is as beneficial as the people receiving the services, who are all very grateful for the help. I have even learned that there are some formerly homeless individuals who have benefitted from this organization so much that they come back and help as a volunteer, reinforcing the positive outcomes of PHC. There are pros and cons in terms of having PHC every two months in comparison to a clinic with regular hours. Not all of the clients receive the services they request, and they must also wait every two months to get access to PHC services. On the other hand, a clinic would perhaps treat more long-term problems instead of short-term difficulties if individuals could attend regularly, because homelessness is a chronic problem. With such clinical service, a regular clinic would allow for a follow-up or evaluation for individuals to track their progress, and they might have a good chance of getting their lives back together. However, PHC may run into problems of flexibility on part of the numerous volunteers and specialists that make PHC feasible, along with problems with funding from the budget cuts. In that case, having the event every other month would make sense for the time being. If this kind of health care was available using this model for all individuals, I think people would choose this because it is a matter of convenience to have everything available in one stop, as Project Homeless Connect does. Regardless, I am happy to see PHC going strong and serving as a charitable model to other cities and states across the nation and look forward to volunteering again the future.

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

meeting all sorts of people and being able to make a difference in someone's life.

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

very kind and helpful.

Ways to make it better...

it were more organized.

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

money & volunteers. Great non-profit organizations like these could always use extra funds and extra people to help support the cause.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

Role:  Volunteer & I escorted individuals to various services and appointments.