In 2004, then-Mayor Gavin Newsom and the San Francisco Department of Public Health created Project Homeless Connect (PHC) and a unique approach to bring necessary services to people experiencing homelessness in San Francisco. In one day at a PHC event, a person experiencing homelessness can find services that would otherwise take months to secure. Each event brings together corporations, nonprofits and government agencies to provide services including dental care, eyeglasses, HIV testing, housing information, food, hygiene products, medical care, mental health services, SSI benefits, legal advice, California identification cards, voice mail accounts, employment counseling/job placement, wheelchair repair, addiction services – and more.
It works not only because of all the services delivered in just one day, but because of all the connections that are made. Homeless youth are given free phone calls to reach out to family and at least two or three of these young people are usually reunited with their parents or grandparents by phone and put on a bus home by the end of the day. Homelessness can never be fixed in mass quantities; it will only work if it is dealt with one person at a time, and PHC is doing just that – one day at a time.
25 Van Ness Avenue I Suite 340
San Francisco, CA 94102