Over the past several years, United Way of the Greater Triangle has been working to end homelessness across the Triangle. One of the strategies we invested in over the years has been Project Homeless Connect. Since 2006 United Way of the Greater Triangle has been the single largest financial sponsor for the three events that take place in Wake, Durham and Orange counties. Each of these day-long events is one location where those who are homeless can receive medical and social support services. Over the four year period an average of 1196 homeless people each year are assisted by 621 volunteers and 160 service provider.
This year, United Way is taking a new direction. We are providing the leadership and coordination for the local participation in the 100,000 Homes Campaign. This is a national movement that houses the most long-term and vulnerable homeless people across the country. They have a great video clip that tells their story. The model identifies the most medically vulnerable homeless people and moves them directly into permanent supportive housing.
The first step in the process is identifying those who need the supportive housing. This is done during a Registry Week designed to create a by-name registry of the community’s homeless population by bringing together volunteers to survey the homeless population in the early morning hours. During the last week of January 2012, volunteers will be needed to go with street outreach workers to meet homeless people on the street and administer a questionnaire. This questionnaire, called the Vulnerability Index, prioritizes those who need the housing.
After a little over one year of work, the campaign has housed 10,790 individuals across the country. Our local goal will be determined by the results of our Registry Week and our hope is to add to that number of successfully housed individuals.
Stay tuned to this blog and to www.unitedwaytriangle.org for more information on how you can be a part of the 100,000 Homes Campaign!