According to Project Homeless Connect, which includes corporations, nonprofits, and government agencies, the organization began in San Francisco in 2004 “when Mayor Gavin Newsom challenged his county workers to create a better system of care for the homeless community.” In Santa Cruz, Project Homeless Connect is “a service filled day that aims at widespread social justice for homeless.”
Since 2004, Project Homeless Connect “has spread to more than 220 cities in 3 different countries to become a national best practice model with great success in getting homeless families off the streets and breaking the cycle of poverty. Rather than being a band-aid event, it is a transformational experience not only for the guests, but also for the volunteers, agencies, and businesses that participate.”
On April 17th, the third annual Project Homeless Connect Santa Cruz was held inside and outside the Civic Auditorium on Church Street in Santa Cruz. Hundreds of people, most of whom are experiencing homelessness, and therefore typically marginalized and criminalized in our community, were provided with a wide range of services and some goods.