When San Francisco's Department of Public Health launched Project Homeless Connect in 2004, the idea was revolutionary.
The city holds regularly-scheduled events where a wide range of homeless services, ranging from HIV testing to employment counseling, are made available to the thousands of San Francisco residents living on the street.
Held five times a year at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium around the corner from San Francisco's City Hall, Project Homeless Connect has been widely hailed as a success and replicated in a host of cities around the county.
Now, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee has taken the program a step further, announcing the creation of Every Day Connect. The service will serve as a permanent extension of Project Homeless Connect, this time on a daily basis.
"Homeless individuals experience challenges in life every day," said Lee in a statement. "Their problems don't fall into regular working hours. With Every Day Connect in place now, people who are homeless can request services any time by utilizing the toll-free helpline to seek assistance and get a chance to get connected with the help they need."
Whereas Project Homeless Connect brings together thousands of volunteers, Every Day Connect will utilize its five-person staff to provide services such as helping individuals secure clean clothes for a job interview to matching them with free dental care providers.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the expansion of Project Homeless Connect into a daily program has been over a year in the making.
For more information on Every Day Connect, check out Project Homeless Connect's website or call (855) 588-7968.