Campus & Community

Project Homeless Connect helps more than 800 people

More than 680 homeless adults and 139 children — including 64 families — were assisted with job opportunities, housing, child care, health care and other vital services May 9 at Project Homeless Connect 6.

The one-day event at DU’s Ritchie Center helped people overcome barriers to self-sufficiency by offering a full array of community services in one location.

More than 800 DU students, faculty and staff provided one-on-one support for homeless individuals who accessed services such as personal identification, housing, legal, employment, medical, dental, veteran and child care benefits provided by local businesses, nonprofits, city and health care providers.

In the Project Homeless Connect employment area:
•    29 individuals created resumes
•    205 job applications were filed
•    44 individuals scheduled job interviews
•    173 individuals submitted resumes to employers
•    25 individuals lined up potential jobs

“Having all these services in one location is key to helping people overcome very basic hurdles that significantly disrupt their well-being,” said Jamie Van Leeuwen, project manager for Denver’s Road Home. “We’re very pleased at the number of people we were able to help and equally delighted at the terrific volunteer and organizational support we had from the University of Denver.”

At the event, homeless individuals charged with nonviolent, petty crimes participated in a “homeless court.” The court expedites judgments and resolutions against offenders and helps them avoid additional disruption to their lives, which can extend their homelessness. In this way, court participants are able to maintain employment and progress toward housing and stability.

“Once again, the University of Denver has done an amazing job of hosting Project Homeless Connect,” said Richard Audsley, Mile High United Way interim president. “The students, faculty and staff at DU have embraced this project, creating a better future for people who are homeless and setting a shining example in the community of what we can accomplish when we work together.”

Project Homeless Connect is a partnership between DU, Denver’s Road Home and the Mile High United Way.

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