It was a day set aside to help people who can’t always access services they can really use. Several Mitchell students and alumni offered their assistance May 20 as part of Project Homeless Connect, providing free legal advice and guidance in a number of areas.
“I’m very glad I participated,” said Emily Parks, who just completed her first year at Mitchell. “The experience broadened my perspective on who is homeless and what that can mean for different people. It was very interesting to talk with people, and hear a little bit about their lives.
“I also learned a bit about family law, something I previously knew nothing about.”
Project Homeless Connect is a one-stop-shop of support services, health care, and legal assistance designed to help homeless people and families overcome the barriers that often prevent them from finding lasting employment and safe, stable housing. The event is organized by Hennepin County and the City of Minneapolis twice a year. Mitchell students and alumni have been providing legal help at Project Homeless Connect for several years.
This year, 800 volunteers and 500 service providers from more than 130 agencies helped provide assistance to nearly 2000 people:
Assistance with benefits:
- 70 people received assistance applying for Social Security
- 65 received assistance applying for food stamps or emergency assistance
- 85 learned how to use food stamps at local farmers markets
- 65 people enrolled in a health plan
- 44 veterans were connected with veterans’ specific benefits
Assistance connecting with community resources:
- 255 people received information on assistance in caring for their pets
- 630 people received a haircut (a record!)
- 83 received a free voicemail account
- 1159 people received a free birth certificate or state ID
Assistance with medical services:
- 154 people were seen by a dentist, including 153 extractions, 127 xrays, 23 cleanings and 23 fillings.
- 19 made follow-up appointments with a dentist
- 74 people were seen by the medical team
- 63 received foot care
- 188 people received reading glasses and 55 received prescription glasses
- 28 women received cancer screenings
- 240 people saw a massage therapist, 76 saw a chiropractor, and 40 saw an acupuncturist
- 54 people received a mental or chemical health assessment
- 64 people received STI testing
Education and employment:
- 178 people were enrolled in school or a job training program
- 68 people received Library cards
- 433 people received job search assistance
- 47 submitted a job application
- 40 received resumé assistance
- 1 person was hired at the event
- 266 people received comprehensive legal consultations including civil law, criminal law, housing law, and youth law.
- Hundreds of people received in-depth housing search assistance and assistance accessing shelter, 122 applied for housing.