Friday, October 8, 2010

Making Connections for the Homeless

Project Homeless Connect made some serious connections at the DBAP on October 7th. The ballpark was transformed into a service center for the community’s homeless…and connections were made for housing, healthcare, jobs, food, clothing and counseling.

PHC was a big success, but that’s a double edge sword. Yes, copious aid was dispensed…but lots of assistance is needed due to the weak economy. Additionally, there are more vets on the street due to war in Iran and Afghanistan.

Dawn Baumgartner Vaughn tells the story in the Herald-Sun. Click here.

Durham Mayor Pro Tem Cora Cole-McFadden welcomes the 480 volunteers on Thursday morning. The objective was to have a volunteer for each client. Mission accomplished thanks to twenty-five organizations from state and local government, non-profits and businesses. When the event ended 481 people had checked in for help.

Our pizza stand was replaced by the state’s JobLink Career Center. Used clothing was distributed in our MVP Club.

For the first time vets were specifically included in PHC as a “Stand Down” for homeless veterans - just over one hundred former soldiers are thought to be living on Bull City streets.

Bulls’ concessionaire Centerplate provided a spaghetti lunch for one thousand people. The Interfaith Food Shuttle contributed 300 pounds of ground beef for pasta sauce.

Wool E. Bull gets a blood pressure check from Duke nurses.

We needed a little levity, because the stats around homelessness are sobering:
  • 1,992 Durham homes entered foreclosure in the past year – a 27% increase over the previous year
  • 40,000 Durham households are “at risk” according to the US Census Bureau
  • 535 Durham County children experienced periods of homelessness during the last school year
Say it ain’t so, but I’m pretty sure the Bulls will be hosting PHC again next fall.