Tuesday, February 12, 2013

UAA volunteers at 11th annual Project Homeless Connect

UAA community volunteers, l to r: Barbara Armstrong
and Dr. Sharon Chamard, Justice Center. Not pictured:
Justice alum Heather MacAlpine, and Susan Hviid,
Consortium Library Dean's Office.
Members of the UAA community volunteered at the 11th annual  Anchorage Project Homeless Connect (PHC) held at the Egan Center on Wednesday, January 29, 2013.  The Anchorage Coalition to End Homelessness presents this day-long program each year with the help of community sponsors and volunteers. The goal is to move our community closer to ending homelessness.

UAA community volunteers included Dr. Sharon Chamard, faculty, Justice Center; Barbara Armstrong,editor, Alaska Justice Forum, Justice Center; Justice alum Heather MacAlpine, Muni of Anchorage Associate Ombudsman; and Susan Hviid, Administrative Assistant, UAA/APU Consortium Library Dean's Office.

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. During the January 29 event, 730 people checked in and were invited to meet with various service providers. About 200 individuals volunteered at the event. Click here for a copy of the report on the 2013 PHC.

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.