First Omaha Project Homeless Connect Serves 300 People
At least 300 homeless citizens living on the streets or in homeless shelters in the greater Omaha area received help, hope, and housing during Omaha’s Project Homeless Connect. This special one-day event on Friday, April 11, 2008, provided “one-stop shopping” to connect the homeless with important services in a supportive setting in the Kiewit Center on the Creighton University campus.
Homeless individuals had access to immediate benefits, and information on employment, housing, healthcare, education, legal resources, clothing for job interviews, food stamps, and Social Security. Event coordinator Ed Shada said the goal was simple: “To end homelessness, through the involvement of the entire community.”
Area agencies identified homeless citizens who were transported from area shelters to the Creighton University campus. Non-profit agencies, local businesses, volunteer groups, healthcare providers, legal experts, human resource professionals, government employees, translators, personal appearance specialists including hair stylists and clothing providers, and other service providers were on hand to offer immediate assistance and referrals.
“When Ed Shada first approached me to serve as honorary chairman of Project Homeless Connect, I knew this was something Creighton University should embrace. It is a project that sits at the very heart of who we are and where we are,” said the Rev. John P. Schlegel, S.J., president of Creighton University.
About 480 volunteers from the Omaha and Council Bluffs metropolitan area escorted individuals and families through the event and more than 200 health care workers provided medical, dental and eye care services.