Project Homeless Connect is evolving its annual event to protect against the spread of COVID-19. Instead of its traditional large-scale one-day service event incorporating volunteers from the public, project organizers will hold smaller pop-ups directly at homeless resource centers, and ask the public to participate remotely.
“There is a great need to continue providing these services to those in the homeless community and we’re happy that by shifting our model we will still be able to put on this essential annual event,” said Michael Akerlow, CEO of the Community Development Corporation of Utah, which manages the project.
“While we may not all be able to gather in one place this year, I’m thankful we can still contribute as a community to make sure families and individuals have access to the critical services the event offers,” Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall said.
Project Homeless Connect staff will bring services to the three homeless resource centers and the Weigand Center every Friday in October. These services will include vision, housing, employment, mental health and substance abuse evaluations, immunizations, health screenings, legal, haircuts and pet care.
Over the past three years the event has drawn hundreds of volunteers but in an effort to keep everyone safe and healthy, organizers are asking community members to participate in the “Gather the Goods Campaign.”
Residents are encouraged to organize community drives to collect and donate items such as clothing, underwear, socks, gloves, coats, shoes, and personal hygiene items. The items can be dropped off by Sept. 26, 2020 at Saint Joseph the Worker Catholic Church on 7405 S. Redwood Road or can be picked up by organizers.
The Project also has an Amazon wishlist for people to purchase selected items and have them shipped directly to the Project. Another option is donating cash through a sponsorship. The funds are then used to purchase the needed items.
More Information on the campaign, how to participate and donate can be found at www.phcslc.org.