Free services offered to local homeless population on Oct. 2
Louisville’s homeless population will have an opportunity to access services, information and assistance in a one-stop environment at the 2019 Project Homeless Connect/VA Stand Down, on Wed., Oct. 2. Resources available at the event will include food, clothing, medical evaluations, help with employment, education and benefit services, State ID’s, and many other forms of assistance.
The event takes place from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. (entry doors will close at 1 p.m.) at The Salvation Army (Old Male High School) campus located at 911 S. Brook St. in Louisville. Several TARC buses will provide access throughout the day from emergency shelters to the event site at no cost courtesy of TARC. The event is coordinated by the Robley Rex Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC), Louisville Metro Office of Resilience and Community Services, Coalition for the Homeless and other community partners including The Salvation Army.
The Project Homeless Connect/VA Stand Down (PHC/Stand Down) is an annual one-day community outreach project where representatives from community service organizations come together to address the collective needs of the homeless during a single visit. This event is made possible by the work of hundreds of volunteers and resources from the Robley Rex VAMC, Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs, Louisville Metro Government, Coalition for the Homeless, and Louisville Metro Council.
The latest numbers from the 2018 Homeless Census indicate 6986 individuals were homeless at some point in Louisville last year -- either on the streets, in homeless shelters or accessing services through Louisville’s homeless service providers. A variety of factors can lead to homelessness and often these individuals may be victims of domestic violence, disabled, veterans or senior citizens.
At last year’s event more than 400 persons participated receiving a variety of individual services including State of KY ID cards, flu shots and other medical exams and services, housing linkages, mainstream benefit access (SSI/SSDI), clothing, food and general case management services. The “Stand Down” event, named for the military concept of renewal, personal care, etc., is replicated from a national service delivery model that has proven to be crucial in eliminating barriers to housing, employment, education and the myriad of other factors that contribute to long-term homelessness.
“This is a vital event for our community because it allows our service providers to connect much-needed resources to our homeless residents," stated Eric Friedlander, director of the city’s Office of Resilience and Community Services. “It also allows us a great opportunity to measure the needs of our homeless population so that we can come together to be more responsive”.
Offered again this year will be a foot-washing service provided by community volunteers and the Coalition for the Homeless. Many individuals experiencing homelessness have issues with their feet due to diabetes, frostbite and other exposure issues. Every participant at Project Homeless Connect/Stand Down will be invited to soak their feet and have them examined by medical volunteers.
For more information about the Homeless Connect event contact:
- Coletta Brown – Louisville VAMC Homeless Supervisory Coordinator at 502-287-4176
- Ethan Lambert - Louisville Metro Resilience and Community Services at 502-574-5375
- Natalie Harris – Coalition for the Homeless at 502-636-9550