Thursday, January 26, 2012

UAA volunteers at Project Homeless Connect

Some of the UAA community volunteers - l to r: Barbara Armstrong,
Editor, Alaska Justice Forum, Justice Center; Kristi Powell,
Student Worker Supervisor/Reserves Manager, UAA/APU
Consortium Library; Heather MacAlpine, Justice major and
Justice Center Research Aide.
Members of the UAA community volunteered at the 10th Anchorage Project Homeless Connect (PHC) held at the Egan Center on Wednesday, January 25, 2012.  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.

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 links individuals with the appropriate provider.  Hospitality is an important part of the day and a lunch is offered to attendees, as well as 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.  At the January 2011 PHC, 847 clients received help, and 601 clients were assisted in July 2011. It is estimated that over 750 clients were provided some typed of needed service at the January 2012 PHC.  The final report for this event will be available 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.