An annual resource fair at Golden Hall provided assistance Wednesday to 771 homeless people, organizers said.
A man named Marcus, who declined to give his last name citing privacy, told San Diego Housing Commission staff he was there to find employment. He, his wife and 7-month-old son stay at a shelter after falling on difficult times.
“Since my wife’s bags got stolen while we were out somewhere, we need to get a MediCal card for our son, for her, Social Security cards,” Marcus said. “Pretty much whatever they’re offering right now — except for, like, a pet — other than that, I think we need everything.”
There were around 100 service provider booths at the 14th annual Project Homeless Connect with more than 200 volunteers, including students from San Ysidro High School. They were on hand to help fill out legal forms, provide health and dental checkups and provide pet services.
“Each person’s journey to permanent housing is different, and the Housing Commission’s annual Project Homeless Connect is an important resource for individuals to get connected to all the services they need in one place,” Mayor Kevin Faulconer said.
“This event brings together hundreds of service providers — each giving their time and effort toward the shared goal of breaking the cycle of homelessness for our most vulnerable residents.”
The housing commission organizes the event, but has major partners such as the city of San Diego, Father Joe’s Villages, Interfaith Shelter Network, Family Health Centers of San Diego and the San Diego County as part of its “Live Well San Diego” initiative.
“Homelessness in San Diego is a humanitarian crisis, and for 14 years, Project Homeless Connect has been there to provide vital, badly needed services and referrals for our unsheltered neighbors,” said San Diego City Council President Georgette Gomez, an honorary co-chair of this year’s event.
New providers included Amazon Workforce Staffing, which provided employment services, and the U.S. Census Bureau, which recruited for temporary work as 2020 census takers.
“It is too soon to draw any conclusions from the numbers today. However, even as we make progress in addressing homelessness in the city of San Diego, it is important to continue to provide opportunities like this to connect San Diegans experiencing homelessness with the help they need to get back on their feet,” said Richard Gentry, San Diego Housing Commission president and chief executive officer.
Donors Wednesday included Father Joe’s Villages with 1,000 hot meals, Hanes with 1,000 pairs of socks, Downtown Fellowship of Churches with 1,000 hygiene kits, PAWS with pet food, Cox Communications with internet services and Healthy Women Period with feminine hygiene products.
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