More than 900 attendees received a variety of assistance Wednesday at the 13th Project Homeless Connect resource fair hosted by the San Diego Housing Commission.
The housing commission oversaw the resource fair for the ninth consecutive year, with assistance from the city of San Diego, Father Joe’s Villages, the Interfaith Shelter Network and Family Health Centers of San Diego. According to the housing commission, 905 homeless residents attended the event, gaining access to roughly 100 service provider booths.
Attendees had access to a warm meal, medical screenings, flu shots, pet care, legal aid and social security benefits assistance and could obtain ID cards from the state Department of Motor Vehicles. This year’s resource fair also included, for the first time, officials from the Victim Service Division of the district attorney’s office providing counseling on issues of domestic violence and sex trafficking.
“It’s a safe, inviting place with one goal — helping people,” said San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer. “This represents the best of our community coming together.”
San Diego City Council members Georgette Gomez, Monica Montgomery and Chris Ward also attended the event. Montgomery called it “very, very important” to have a safe place to access necessary medical and social services.
“A lot of people are sitting down and eating,” Montgomery said. “That’s food for the soul. I hope to just be able to connect people even more with the services that they are in need of on a more regular basis.”
According to data from the housing commission, 45.9 percent of the resource fair’s attendees were age 55 or older and 62.7 percent have been homeless for more than a year. Military veterans made up 12.8 percent of attendees as well.
“I feel pretty good. Definitely wasn’t expecting all that to be available,” said Dylan, a temporary bridge shelter resident who did not give his last name, after receiving a dental cleaning. “For a brief moment there, I wasn’t homeless.”
— City News Service
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