Project Homeless Connect
Project Homeless Connect (PHC) is an annual one-day collaboration between 60 non-profit and government agencies to provide services to the homeless and impoverished population of the Birmingham metropolitan area. The 2008 event, held on April 5, was the first in Birmingham under a national "best practices" campaign promulgated by the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness, is intended to help break the cycle of poverty and homelessness and to draw the public into productive dialogue about improving lives and public welfare. Services provided included photo identifications issued by the Alabama Department of Public Safety, tax preparation assistance, legal assistance, dental exams, eye exams, meals, haircuts, pet care, massages and entertainment.
Early planning for Project Homeless Connect was carried out by the Metropolitan Birmingham Services for the Homeless and the Mayor's Office of Citizens Assistance. The United Way of Central Alabama served as coordinator, organizing assistance from several area service agencies, homeless shelters, and religious organizations. Hands on Birmingham organized 770 local volunteers for the all-day event. Organizers reported that 518 individuals received assistance at the event.
Project Homeless Connect partially implemented many components of the Birmingham's Plan to End Chronic Homelessness: 2007-2017 drawn up by the Mayor's Commission to Prevent and End Chronic Homelessness. Based on the success of the first event, Mayor Larry Langford promised to repeat the program twice a year.
- Velasco, Anna (April 6, 2008) "Hundreds of homeless and needy get social, legal, government help at Birmingham event." Birmingham News
- Taylor, Kelli Hewett (April 4, 2009) "Event for homeless attracts 650 people in need." Birmingham News
- National Project Homeless Connect web site