Denver needs hundreds of volunteers to work alongside people experiencing homelessness for a day

Denver’s annual Project Homeless Connect pulls together a variety of services in one place for one day. This year, it takes place Sept. 19.

Denver's Project Homeless Connect pulls essential services into one place for one day. (Courtesy Denver Human Servicee. Photograph by Gary Rhodes.)
Denver's Project Homeless Connect pulls essential services into one place for one day. (Courtesy Denver Human Servicee. Photograph by Gary Rhodes.)
Denver’s Project Homeless Connect pulls essential services into one place for one day. (Courtesy Denver Human Services. Photograph by Gary Rhodes.)

Dealing with the basics of life — your health, the government, the job search — is hard enough when you’ve got a home base. It gets more complicated when you don’t have steady transportation or income or even a place to live.

Denver’s annual Project Homeless Connect event makes all that easier by pulling together a variety of services for one day. It returns on Sept. 19 to the Colorado Convention Center, and its organizers are trying now to recruit one volunteer helper for each of the 1,000 people expected to attend the event.

“Produce resume, get a haircut, get a health check-up. We hope to be able to accomplish that for somebody within one day and one place,” said Chris Conner, program administrator for Denver’s Road Home.

Having a large crew of volunteer assistants makes the sprawling event much easier to navigate for people seeking services, he said.

Volunteering is fairly simple. New volunteers are encouraged but not required to attend an in-person training event with the United Way prior to the event.

Project Homeless Connect will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 19 at the Colorado Convention Center. Volunteers should register with the United Way ahead of time.

The event is an opportunity for people to connect at the most human level, Conner said.

“We encourage them: Close that distance. Talk about something that isn’t homelessness,” he said.

Training opportunities:

One training is happening tonight, Aug. 31, from 5 to 6 p.m., at the Mile High United Way building at 711 Park Ave. West.

Another will happen on Sept. 7 at noon at the Denver Human Services East Building at Steele Street and East 38th Avenue.

Andrew Kenney

Author: Andrew Kenney

Andrew Kenney writes about public spaces, Denver phenomena and whatever else. He previously worked for six years as a reporter at The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C. His most prized possession is his collection of bizarre voicemail. Leave him one at 303-502-2803, or email akenney@denverite.com.