Friday, October 19, 2007

Project Homeless Connect Adds Sponsors for Nov. 6 Event

LAS VEGAS – Organizers of a Nov. 6 outreach event called Project Homeless Connect announced several new sponsors and donors and issued a last call for any additional volunteers interested in joining the event to help the homeless in Southern Nevada.

“We’re confident that this will be our largest and most successful event yet to help homeless people here in Southern Nevada,” said Kim Amato, executive director of the Nevada Homeless Alliance, which coordinates the Project Homeless Connect event. “We expect to serve more than the nearly 2,000 people we helped at this event last year.”

The 15th annual day-long event at Cashman Center, located at 850 Las Vegas Blvd. North, was formerly known as the Stand Down for the Homeless. It helps thousands of homeless people each year receive “a hand up, not a hand out.” Staffed by volunteers from local governments, charities, faith-based groups, shelters, businesses and others involved in ending and preventing homelessness, this event is coordinated by the Nevada Homeless Alliance (NHA) and co-sponsored by the City of Las Vegas. Project Homeless Connect is free to people who are homeless. The event opens at 8 a.m.

Amato said the event is being made possible with support from sponsors such as US Airways, MGM MIRAGE, Harrah’s Entertainment, Clark County, Nevada Community Foundation, Nevada State Bank, Henderson Civitans, Central Las Vegas Rotary Club, Assistance League of Las Vegas, ERealEstateExec, America’s Second Harvest, Supercuts, Trader Joe’s, U.S. Food Service, AAA, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, Brown & Partners Advertising and Public Relations, Cox Communications, Univision Radio and others.

“Project Homeless Connect is an important part of our regional Help Hope Home initiative to help homeless people get off the streets,” said Shannon West, regional homeless services coordinator for Southern Nevada. “The idea is to bring the community together to give people the help, hope and housing they need to get them off the street.”

In 2006, nearly 2,000 homeless people received help with food, clothing, grooming, housing, transportation, job training, health care, mental health counseling, substance abuse treatment, child care, veterans and legal services. In addition, West said nearly 300 attendees were placed in housing during and after the outreach event.

Amato said organizers are still seeking support from local residents, businesses and organizations that can volunteer, donate money or provide in-kind services for the event and for the Help Hope Home initiative in general. The deadline to volunteer or sponsor the event is Oct. 30.

Project Homeless Connect participants include Clark County Social Service, City of Las Vegas, city and county courts, emergency shelter and housing providers, Nevada Legal Services, Nevada Health Centers, Lutheran Social Services of Nevada, employment and training agencies, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department HELP (Homeless Evaluation Liaison Project) Team, street outreach service providers, state welfare and mental health agencies, the Veterans Administration, faith-based groups and various housing providers.

A comprehensive study census conducted in Southern Nevada last January indicates there are approximately 11,417 homeless people staying in shelters or on the street there on any given day. This event will not only help homeless people by connecting them with the resources they need, but it will also generate awareness of issues related to homelessness in Nevada and how it affects the community and the economy.

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