Saturday, June 7, 2008

Project Homeless Connect

In the cookie-cutter model of the ten year plans to end chronic homelessness across the county, yesterday Springfield held a Project Connect event for homeless and poor people.

By all accounts, it was a very successful event. In one place, people were able to accomplish what it otherwise takes an incredible amount of energy to accomplish: getting birth certificates and Mass. I.D., health screenings, and social security applications. Nineteen people found housing.

My sister did voter registration at the event yesterday. She said it was announced that the event cost $1,000,000.

Not to take away from any accomplishments yesterday, but here's how a poor person might think about this;

Say the average rent for an efficiency apartment is $500. $1,000,000 divided by $500 is 2,000 months of rent. 2,000 divided by 12 months is 167. In other words, 167 homeless people could have been provided housing for a year. That happens to be about the number of single homeless people in Springfield.

So how is it again that we are going to end homelessness in Springfield?


Gerry McCafferty said...

Here's the accurate information, which I am providing as one of the event coordinators: The event cost under $15,000, most of which was spent directly for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, including covering the cost of IDs, birth certificates, food, and backpacks for guests at the event--the backpacks were to hold donated goods, including new shoes and clothes. Funding came from private fundraising. The MassMutual Center facility was donated, as were most of the supplies and services, and some of the food.

The event served over 600 people--168 got Mass IDs that day, and 97 ordered birth certificates. Eighteen employers took 220 job applications, and report that they found candidates they liked and expect to make offers. As you mention, 19 people were housed.

Feel free to contact me at any time for accurate information about homeless services in Springfield.
(413) 787-6500.

Michaelann Bewsee said...

Oops! Well, $19,000 sounds MUCH more likely, i did wonder how a million could be spent. Apologies; as Tip O'Neill used to say, everyone is entitled to his own opinions but not his own facts.

Liz said...

Hey all,
Sorry about giving Michaelann the wrong figures. One million is what I thought I heard The Mayor say, may be he said it was a million dollars in services I'm not sure now. Although others listened heard one million too so maybe it was just misheard or mis-spoken.