Project Homeless Connect Event Serves over 500

In Birmingham, Alabama, homeless individuals and families lined up in the rain to take part in Project Homeless Connect (PHC) on April 5, 2008. Birmingham's PHC mobilized over 700 volunteers and grew from collaboration between Hands On Birmingham, Inc., the United Way of Central Alabama, the Metropolitan Birmingham Services for the Homeless, the Birmingham area continuum of care organization, and the City of Birmingham. They organized the dozens of contributors and provided an impressive array of services to 528 homeless clients:

[Photo 1: Dental station]
Free teeth extractions are provided as part of the many services offered
  • 1000 meals
  • 520 pair of reading glasses
  • 201 MBSH (Continuum of Care) ID's
  • 123 Alabama ID's
  • 110 vouchers for a year of free dental care
  • 100 Social Security cards
  • 100 haircuts/styles and manicures
  • 55 dental clients had 112 teeth extracted
  • 50 massages

[Photo 2: People at the event]
The flow of participants remained constant on this rainy Saturday event designed to connect the homeless to much needed services

Massages? Yes. Clients at Project Homeless Connect were treated as valued customers. Each client was personally escorted through the maze of services by a Personal Concierge. HUD staff and volunteers provided valuable information on affordable Housing resources. Reading glasses were obviously popular but the most innovative service offered at the event was the on-the-spot production of State-issued photo identification cards.

[Photo 3: People at the event]
Hundreds of homeless individuals and families participate in Project Homeless Connect in Birmingham, Alabama

Planning for an October event began when Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford surveyed the hundreds of volunteers and homeless individuals and turned to an aide and said: "This is great. We need to do this twice a year!" Organizers felt that the large number of volunteers and the very favorable publicity garnered by the event went a long ways toward connecting the Birmingham community with their homeless population. The event dramatized the area's commitment to end chronic homelessness.

For more information on Project Homeless Connect, visit the Interagency Council on Homelessness at

Content Archived: July 11, 2011