It’s a new year with new possibilities for anyone seeking employment. But before beginning the search, job seekers must have all their ducks in a row. This includes legal proof of identification, an appearance of good health and hygiene, showing the physical ability to follow through with job requirements, and, of course, confidence in acquiring the job. For the homeless population, these aren’t merely ducks… they are elephants. And reining them in without help or resources can prove to be a daunting task.
Thank goodness for Nashville’s largest homeless service provider event, Project Homeless Connect. The Metropolitan Homelessness Commission is recruiting 500 volunteers to assist individuals and families in need at this important event, which takes place on Wednesday, February 13.
This is a one-day, one-stop event providing individuals and families who are experiencing homelessness, or on the brink of homelessness, with access to a broad range of services including housing and employment assistance, medical checkups, eye screenings, foot care, legal services, employment assistance, pet care, food, toiletries, and more. The goal of Project Homeless Connect is to remove barriers to housing and employment. This is a true collaborative effort in which more than 70 agencies and hundreds of volunteers come together to provide thousands of services to an expected 1,000 to 1,500 guests.
With such a large event, your hands are certainly needed. Volunteer Vette Hughes, a Bank of America employee, said volunteering at Project Homeless Connect was a great experience for her. “The best part is to be able to help people. I love being able to give time. It has made me see that I can do more about homelessness. I am more aware – homeless people are just people like you and me. Everybody needs help sometime.”
Jason Vanover, of Reliant Bank, volunteered for the second year and said he felt like the day really made a difference to a lot of the guests. “Navigating the ID system is not an easy task. And having the right ID is the lynchpin for so many things. And the people are so appreciative.“
If you’re interested in getting involved, volunteers are needed to help with registration, crowd management, check out, guidance, setup/cleanup, and other duties. One of the main needs is for volunteer guides to pair up with the guests. As a volunteer guide, you will ensure that your assigned guest receives the proper services and respect as they navigate the event. Because so many people in our community come together and care, life is more navigable for our homeless population. You, in addition to the 500 other volunteers and 70 agencies, will help move Nashvillians who are experiencing homelessness one step forward. Read below and see how to be a part of this amazing day.
Still have questions? Email Tojuana Jordan at Tojuana.Jordan@nashville.gov or call her at 615-880-2773.