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Fort Collins’ annual Project Homeless Connect is scheduled to take place on April 12, 8 a.m.-noon. Project Homeless Connect is a one-day, one-stop event that offers a range of free services to hundreds of individuals and families who are experiencing homelessness or who are at risk of homelessness.
Project Homeless Connect will take place at Northside Aztlan Community Center, 112 Willow St. A free breakfast will be available beginning at 8 a.m. and a free lunch will be served from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Nearly 40 local nonprofits, government agencies and businesses will provide on-site services. Bohemian Foundation, Homeward Alliance, Outreach Fort Collins and Colorado State University Student Leadership, Involvement and Community Engagement (SLiCE) co-produce the event with support from United Way of Larimer County and the City of Fort Collins Recreation Department.
Free services this year will include basic car inspection; bike repair; medical screenings; basic dental screenings for adults and children; eye exams; family photos; haircuts; housing information; veterans’ services; ID and legal services; employment services; counseling; government benefits; child care and children’s activities; bus passes; massages; toiletry packages; pet health care and pet food.
During the event, each participant is paired one-to-one with a volunteer who helps the participant navigate the variety of services available. Last year, SLiCE recruited nearly 400 CSU students and Fort Collins community members to volunteer.
The Project Homeless Connect concept originated in San Francisco in 2004. In 2005, the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness launched the National Project Homeless Connect Partnership. Since 2008, more than 200 cities across the U.S., Canada and Australia have adopted the initiative. Fort Collins welcomed its first Project Homeless Connect in 2010. Since then, nearly 5,000 individuals and families experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness have attended the event.