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Bea Celestina

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1 reviews

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

Rating: 4 stars  

Being a volunteer for Project Homeless Connect is an invaluable experience that illustrates a unique facet of a city, like San Francisco. Having only little familiarity with the city, I had the opportunity to witness firsthand the need for housing, lack of the necessary daily needs for people, and the willingness of volunteers to try to provide service to the underserved. While volunteers were being seated in the auditorium to hear an overview of the project’s objectives, there was already a line of clients, waiting outside to receive what they need. My job as an escort entailed communicating with the client and directing him or her to their specific destination(s). The clients, whom I helped, were in need of housing information, a haircut, grocery items, and reading glasses. One area that was heavily occupied by clients was the housing information service section. Although there was an organized manner for supplying information, it outweighed the need for housing and obtaining information on how to receive it. Noticing the numerous individuals requiring housing led me to ponder certain questions that take into consideration the apparent problem of people living on the streets: Is there a way to provide housing for those who need it? Will holding Project Homeless Connect a few times a year be enough to help put homeless individuals into homes? How do we, as a society, ward off from the struggle of poverty and scarcity? From riding the bus almost four days a week and observing people as they wait in line for food, sleeping on the wet concrete, patiently holding their cups for some spare change or shivering from the cold winter air due to lack of warm clothing, I am slightly aware of the predicament that surrounds many individuals that live in San Francisco. Being a participant at Project Homeless Connect made me think even more of the financial hardships facing many individuals. With many employers cutting hours and employees, will that result to an increase to the homeless population? If the answer is yes, then how will an establishment, providing aid to help people grant housing flourish if not enough funding is present? It’s remarkable to see the teamwork and effort towards serving the community. In the midst of the adversity within the San Francisco community, in dealing with an ongoing struggle to help people who live on the streets, there is still hope that emerges through the people and organizations that put into action their compassion and empathy towards the less fortunate. As I walked out of the auditorium to catch the Fulton 5, my friends and I came across a man who jokingly questioned why we were leaving early when Project Homeless Connect is an all day event. Reflecting on what that man said. I make a correction in my mind from his statement. It is not just an all day or one-day event to help people, but instead a continuous effort that takes time and commitment to consider possible solutions and take action towards a communal issue.

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

require more people providing information in the housing section/booth

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

the environment and meeting of the volunteers.

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

attentive and eager to help.

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

help even more individuals.

Ways to make it better...

I had a better understanding of the layout of the services.

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

financial hardships.

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

Project Homeless Connect is a great stepping stone in trying to provide services to the individuals that need it.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

Role:  Volunteer & I helped escort clients to their needed destinations.