Sunday, October 5, 2008

Connecting with the Homeless

I just heard about a program to help the homeless connect to services in the community. Edmonton is hosting a "Homeless Connect" campaign today. Dozens of services will be under one roof at the Shaw Conference centre. The homeless can get a hair cut, clothing, social services, and even photo ID if they need it. Launched by San Franciso in 2004, this approach is recognized in the United States as a national best practice.

The concept is intriguing, and I suspect far less frustrating for the homeless than roving from office to office. Transportation is an issue for street people as well. An errand that would take an urbanite an hour to complete in their car could take a street person two days to fulfill.

I'd love to hear how it went. Were there enough volunteers to help? Were there lineups?