The 11th annual Project Homeless Connect kicked off Tuesday morning at the Egan Center and the mission remains the same: reducing and preventing homelessness in Anchorage.
Project Homeless Connect brought various agencies under one roof to give homeless individuals, and families, resources to find housing and employment.
“The whole goal is to help people achieve stable housing, which then equates to so many other things," said director Project Homeless Connect of Trevor Storrs. "Without housing, everything else falls apart.”
Organizers say its a complex issue and the project continues to break down the stigma of homeless, since many people in need include employees who were laid off or friends or families facing hardships.
More than 200 volunteers helped people in need identify what services would be helpful to them. People received help signing up for a bank account, renewing DMV identification, applying for food stamps or finding housing.
Nearly 800 people showed up to the event.
“You know there [are] always people that need help whether it just happen suddenly or illness or there’s a variety of things. What the exciting part is, is when a community does what they're supposed to do, which is come together and take care of each other,” said Storrs.
Albert Johnson, a homeless man in Anchorage, said the event helped him fill out paperwork for a new I.D. at the DMV. Johnson said he was thankful for the volunteers.
“It makes me happy," said Johnson. "It really does. It brings me hope."
Editor's Note: The Mat-Su Coalition on Housing and Homelessness has organized the Valley version of Project Homeless Connect, and it will begin at 10 a.m., Jan. 30 in the Menard Sports Center in Wasilla.
Contact Mallory Peebles