Project Community Connect is an alliance of community nonprofits and concerned citizens who will host a one day, one stop shop event designed to deliver real services to people experiencing need in a community by bringing service providers together in one place.
Project Community Connect enhances the quality of life for the entire community, engages civic leaders, re-engages our citizens who are homeless or in need of housing, transforms service delivery systems, increases public awareness, dispels myths and stereotypes, and increases investment in the community.
This event is not "business as usual" as people do not wait in line for service. Rather, they receive hospitality from the whole community, and people have immediate access to services on site that day! The Project Community Connect model has been recognized as one of the "best practices" by the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness.
The Project Community Connect model was created in 2001 by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom as Project Homeless Connect to engage people who were homeless back into the community. From 2004 to 2005, several Project Homeless Connect events were created. In December 2005, the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness launched the National Project Homeless Connect partnership with its inaugural National Day on December 8; 26 cities implemented the innovation with over 5,400 volunteers welcoming over 8,800 persons who were homeless. In December 2006, Project Homeless Connect expanded to a National Project Homeless Connect week with 40 cities partnering with over 9,500 volunteers who welcomed almost 22,000 homeless persons. According to the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness in 2008, more than 200 cities in the United States, Canada, and Australia were hosting Project Homeless Connect events.
Warrensburg and Johnson County had it's first Project Homeless Connect on October 19, 2012. The name was changed in 2013 to include all persons in need in our county - thus, Project Community Connect.
This year's Project Community Connect will be Friday, October 6th, 2017 at the UCM Student Recreation and Wellness Center on the campus of the University of Central Missouri.
UCM Student Recreation and Wellness Center, lower level
People in our community need help!
It is estimated that approximately 35% of our county residents are barely making it or are in need.
Twice per year, Johnson County and the other 100 counties in the Balance of State Continuum of Care perform a Point-in-Time Count of sheltered and unsheltered homeless individuals and families. According to the last Point-in-Time (PIT) County Warrensburg/Johnson County unofficially reported that 27 homeless individuals and 30 homeless families were counted in the unsheltered portion of the PIT. You can review past reports on the Missouri Housing Development Commission website, www.MHDC.org. This count, conducted by 60 or more local volunteers twice a year, tells us of the huge need. In addition, many people live on the verge of homelessness OR are unable to access services because of a variety of reasons. This one day service delivery addresses those barriers and issues, as well.