With more than 1,000 people expected to show up at a resource fair in downtown San Diego, organizers are asking for volunteers and donations.
Project Homeless Connect is holding its 11th annual one-day resource fair. The event will provide health services, haircuts, legal aid, counseling and pet care for San Diego’s homeless adults and families, veterans, seniors and people with disabilities.
Project Homeless Connect is hosted by the San Diego Housing Commission, and is looking for volunteers and donations to help with the event on Jan. 25, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., downtown at the Golden Hall at San Diego Concourse. Acceptable donations are new sweatshirts size large and up, new or gently used shoes (no flip flops or heels), new blankets, and new ponchos. Donations can be dropped off from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Golden Hall on Jan. 24.
Volunteers would staff registration tables, collect information on homeless individuals, escort them to booths and help clean.
“[Project Homeless] goes way back. It started in San Francisco as a day to provide for homeless their basic needs,” said Maria Velasquez, chief communications officer for the San Diego Housing Commission.
“Twelve hundred people came through last year, we’re not sure how many people will come this year, but anyone who walks through the doors will be in need of the services which Project homeless Connect provides,” Velasquez said.
San Diego County’s Regional Task Force on the Homeless is conducting its annual WeAllCount Point-in-Time census on the homeless, and is looking for volunteers to conduct interviews of the homeless throughout San Diego County, starting Jan. 27.
WeAllCount’s one-day census provides the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development with information to help plan local homeless assistance systems and programs, as well as raise public awareness of homelessness.
Volunteers would assist with counting unsheltered individuals, sheltered individuals and provide in-depth personal interviews of unsheltered persons.
The 2016 WeAllCount Point-in-Time census found a 69 percent increase in individuals sleeping in tents or hand-built structures from the previous year, according to the RTFH comprehensive report.
U.S. census data shows 13.9 percent of San Diego County lives in poverty.