Tuesday, July 19, 2011

UAA volunteers at Project Homeless Connect

Members of the UAA community volunteered at the 9th annual Anchorage Project Homeless Connect (PHC) held at the Egan Center on Tuesday, July 19, 2011.  The Anchorage Coalition on Homelessness presents this day-long program twice each year (January and July) with the help of community sponsors and volunteers. The goal is to move our community closer to ending homelessness.

Some of the UAA community volunteers:  l to r, Heather MacAlpine,
Justice major and Justice Center Research Aide; Kristi Powell,
UAA/APU Consortium Library Student Worker Supervisor/Reserves
Manager; and Barbara Armstrong, Justice Center,
Editor/Alaska Justice Forum and Research Associate.
This event brings together service providers and government agencies under one roof to assist homeless persons in identifying their top 3 issues of concern and then linking individuals with the appropriate provider.  Hospitality is an important part of the day and a lunch is offered to attendees, as well canned food items to take with them.  Similar programs are presented in cities across the United States.

The initial interview with each attendee also presents an opportunity for collecting information about who is homeless and why.  This data is aggregated and provides a tool to assist service providers and government agencies in policy making and structuring services. In  2010 Anchorage Project Homeless Connect assisted 769 clients in January and 578 in July.  A total of 847 clients received help at the January 2011 PHC; the July 2011 PCH count will be released shortly.

The article "A Look at Homelessness in Alaska" in Alaska Justice Forum 26(2) Summer 2009 looked at data for the homeless in Alaska for the years 2007–2009.