Making a connection with Edmonton’s homeless
Homeward Trust, in partnership with United Way, the Shaw Conference Centre and Edmonton Economic Development Corporation, will open its doors for the sixth Homeless Connect event on May 15 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Shaw Conference Centre. Homeless Connect provides free services to those who are homeless or at-risk-of-becoming-homeless.
With the support of generous sponsors, service providers and volunteers, this event has been a success for the last three years. At the last event, held in October 2010, over 1,500 guests received services from more than 50 local organizations such as Pearle Vision, Marvel College, Coinomatic, Alberta Health Services and Mac’s. More than 450 volunteers were also on hand to lend their support throughout the day.
“This is our sixth Homeless Connect Edmonton event and we are really excited about our continued growth,” says Colette Ries, co-chair of Homeless Connect Edmonton. “Not only are we providing services for individuals, but we have also included services focused on families and youth. This event serves as a strong reminder to the complex issues surrounding homelessness.”
Services provided to guests include haircuts, dentistry, eye-care, counseling, pre-natal support, Internet access, laundry and a warm meal. Many guests take advantage of discussing employment opportunities and getting housing support information from helpful service providers. Every guest leaves with a care package that contains essential items such as toothpaste, shampoo, soap and deodorant.
"An event like Homeless Connect is invaluable to Edmonton’s less fortunate,” says Susan McGee, executive director, Homeward Trust Edmonton. “When trying to get assistance, people can be overwhelmed with the number of service providers and the layers of government they have to deal with. Having one place where they can seek help and ask questions goes a long way toward simplifying the entire process for everyone.”
For the last three years, the Shaw Conference Centre has welcomed Edmonton’s homeless through its doors. The conference centre donates 80,000 square feet of space for each event.
Learn more about Homeless Connect Edmonton at www.homelessconnect.ca
Homeward Trust Edmonton
780.944.2845 or 780.902.6858
Edmonton Economic Development Corporation
780.969.0495 or 780.902.6599
Homeless Connect Edmonton is organized by volunteer committees that provide direction and support for the event. Homeward Trust Edmonton, a not-for-profit organization providing leadership and resources towards ending homelessness, coordinates the overall work plan and ensures the event aligns with related Edmonton initiatives.