Event connects UT homeless to 90 services in one place

"Project Homeless Connect" held Friday at Salt Palace Convention Center

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 Utah) An essential event in the ongoing effort to reduce homelessness was held in Salt Lake City Friday. 

More than 1,000 people experiencing homelessness gained access to services at the Salt Palace Convention Center at Project Homeless Connnect. 

“Being out on the street you don’t always get that care. It’s kind of amazing that you have that here,” said Sean Grider, who’s been homeless for over two years. 

The 47-year-old got access to 90 services to help improve his life. 

“Part of the problem with getting services is they can be really spread out. A lot of those who are homeless don’t have transportation or means to get to those services,” Project Homeless Connect Organizer Mike Akerlow said.

Driven by volunteers, the one-day, one-stop event also connected people experiencing homelessness with someone who cares. 

“You essentially have an ambassador acknowledging who you are as an individual and really taking the time to understand what happened in your life and how how we can be helpful to you and walking you through this,” Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski said. 

Project Homeless Connect is inspired by an idea started in San Francisco and spread across the US, Canada and Australia.

“Sometimes when you’re out on the street and you kind of get hopelessness. Stuff like this brings the hope back,” Grider said. 

Mayor Biskupski said she hopes to do similar events over the next several years. 
 


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