Volunteers still needed for homeless outreach event

Up to 500 homeless individuals and families are expected to receive assistance at this year’s Project Homeless Connect on April 20, and organizers are looking for about 200 additional volunteers to provide onsite services at the Northside Aztlan Community Center in Fort Collins.

This is the third year for the one-day, one-stop event sponsored by Homeward 2020, with partners Colorado State University SLiCE Office, City of Fort Collins, United Way of Larimer County and Bohemian Foundation.

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Nearly three dozen nonprofits and local businesses will be on hand to offer a wide array of goods and services, including basic car and bike repair, medical screenings, dental screenings and pediatric dental care vouchers, eye exams, food packages, haircuts, housing information, ID and legal services, employment specialists and job search sessions, counseling services, bus passes, books, pet health care and pet food. Child care and children’s activities will be available at the event.

Volunteers will be paired one-on-one with homeless clients to help them navigate the event to receive the assistance they need. CSU SLiCE, which is coordinating volunteers and volunteer training for the event, has recruited more than 400 students and community members, but more are needed.

Volunteer training sessions will be held April 13, from noon to 1 p.m. and again on April 16, 5 to 6 p.m. in the CSU Lory Student Center. Project Homeless Connect kicks off at 8 a.m. and the doors will be open until 1 p.m. on Friday, April 20.

Homeward 2020 is a 10-year program to end homelessness in Fort Collins that emphasizes housing first. Executive Director Bryce Hach said last year’s Project Homeless Connect attracted 400 clients and, given the current economy, he expects an even greater turnout this year.

For more information or to volunteer, go to www.homeward2020.org or call 970-412-1290.