COMMUNITY VOICES | Project Homeless Connect

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There are many challenges to being homeless; the cost of transportation, locations of programs and services, and having open access to these opportunities. The Project Homeless Connect event at The Minneapolis Convention Center temporarily solved all of these ‘problems’ in one day for hundreds of people struggling with different aspects of mental health, dental issues, and even fixing a flat tire or a rusty chain on a bicycle.

The all day outreach involved many volunteers and as far as I am concerned, “we” can not thank these non-profits, agencies, and people enough. There were volunteers giving free legal advice, bicycle maintenance, medical care, etc. And then there was lunch!

As a former homeless person I know the burden of not having a place or ‘space’ to live and for living. I have seen and heard the complaints of all the ‘bums’ sleeping at the library, asking for spare change, and being high on something. Just the ‘weight’ or burden of having to walk around all day (from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m.) is tiring and when you add the complication of sleeping on basement floors, rubber/plastic mats, and snoring roommates just inches away next to you, it can be exhausting.

The truth of the matter is, homeless people are generous and share much of what they have amongst each other. “Poor people help poor people.” is what one of my friends once told me and I saw that every day when I was in the shelters. These types of events are needed and very helpful for many people in various stages of their journey. Connections, it is all about connections. We heal through relationships and recovery is not a ‘straight’ line. With this help we can all live better and have a healthier experience. Next time, join us.