San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom together announced this morning the launch of “Every Day Connect”–a 24/7 homeless resource that extends the city’s established Project Homeless Connect program.

The mayor and his predecessor Newsom touted the success of Project Homeless Connect and its ongoing service at a news conference held at the homeless fair this morning at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium at 99 Grove St.

The city’s Housing Opportunity, Partnerships and Engagement, or HOPE, Director Bevan Dufty also attended today’s announcement.

Today’s resource fair marks the 46th Project Homeless Connect event after it kicked off eight years ago with Newsom’s administration creating the project to bring the homeless medical services, food and other care with the help of corporate sponsors, volunteers, nonprofits, and a collaboration of city agencies including the departments of Public Health and Human Services.

“Every Day Connect,” which is already up and running, offers resources from everything to setting up a haircut for a job interview to a dentist appointment seven days a week at all hours through a phone call to 311 or a toll-free help line at (855) 588-7968.

A center for resource specialists will be housed at 25 Van Ness Ave. where callers for the Every Day services will be connected, Lee said.

According to Lee, 64,000 people have been served in the past eight years and even more are anticipated to benefit from around-the-clock availability instead of the current five times a year when the fairs are held.

“Our homeless individuals can have an every day ability to connect up with us,” Lee said.
Newsom thanked the mayor and Dufty for reinvesting in his project by offering regular service.

“This is a special place, San Francisco. People here give a damn,” the lieutenant governor said.

As to the cost of offering everyday services, Lee said for the city “is not so much an expense as organizing it,” and declined to cite a specific cost and noted support comes heavily from the private sector.

Newsom noted that Project Homeless Connect has become a model for caring for the homeless in 260 cities nationwide and two countries abroad.

Sasha Lekach, Bay City News

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