Campus & Community / Magazine Feature

DU to host Project Homeless Connect on May 9

The University of Denver will host Project Homeless Connect 6 (PHC 6) on May 9 from 9 a.m.–3 p.m. in the Ritchie Center.

The event, a partnership between DU, Denver’s Road Home and the Mile High United Way, serves as a one-stop shop. It will connect homeless individuals to services, including employment, housing, health care, legal resources, IDs, Social Security and food-stamp benefits. Homeless people will be bussed to and from DU for the event, and more than 60 service organizations from the Denver area will be present to serve them.

Project Homeless Connect is one facet of the City of Denver’s 10-year plan to end homelessness. Denver’s Road Home began in October 2003 in response to an increasing rise in homeless persons in the city and county of Denver and a mounting increase in public safety concerns.

According to Denver’s Road Home, Denver is home to more 3,900 homeless men, women and children, and the city spends more than $70 million annually on shelter, healthcare and other stopgap services.

Many of Denver’s homeless are members of families with children. People who are homeless for the first time may not be aware of the network of local services available to them. Project Homeless Connect serves as a comprehensive resource for helping homeless people find jobs and acts as the entry point for other critical services.

DU hosted Project Homeless Connect 4 (PHC 4) for the first time last April. With the support of 755 volunteers the day of the event and another 250 who helped with planning efforts, 525 homeless clients received a wide range of services that day.

Organizers say volunteer support from DU students, staff, faculty, alumni and community members is vital to the success of PHC 6. Volunteers will be matched one-to-one with a homeless participant for the day. All volunteers will go through an extensive training process. Volunteer registration will begin in early April.

“This event gives the DU community a chance to do tangible, public work that improves the lives of people in our communities,” says Katie Symons, event organizer and Center for Community Engagement associate director.

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