Several Weinberg Foundation employees today participated in the 5th Annual Project Homeless Connect Baltimore, held at the Baltimore Convention Center. The event, serving individuals and families experiencing homelessness, was organized by the United Way of Central Maryland and is part of The Journey Home initiative, Baltimore’s plan to make homelessness rare and brief. The United Way says Project Homeless Connect is a national best practice model that has been replicated in more than 300 cities to date.
Homeless and at-risk participants are paired with a volunteer guide, who travels with the participant throughout the event, helps them access services, and gets to know them over the course of the day. The personal connection formed is impactful for both the guide and the participant, creating community connections, increasing civic engagement and providing vital resources. Participants are able to access direct services such as medical, dental, and vision care, as well as gateway services including photo identification and connections and referrals to a variety of service providers. More than 2,000 people received services last year, and the response was just as impressive in 2016. Today’s volunteer turnout also was incredible. Weinberg Foundation employees were joined by hundreds of other volunteers, just for the morning shift, and soon the Convention Center was filled with participants and guides crisscrossing the floor to visit the wide array of service providers.
The Weinberg Foundation is a longtime financial supporter of the United Way of Central Maryland. The Foundation encourages its employees to volunteer, individually or as a staff activity, as they did today for Project Homeless Connect.