Tempe church hosts event to connect at risk and homeless with services

By Christina Estes
Published: Monday, March 13, 2023 - 4:51pm

Steve Carr
Haircuts, showers, food and clothing are offered at Project Connect events, along with specialist to help guests secure state IDs, apply for Social Security and VA benefits and access housing and health care.

A church in Tempe will host a daylong event Tuesday for people at risk of or experiencing homelessness.

It’s called Project Connect, a pop-up event that moves around the Valley. It offers many services that are provided at the Human Services Campus near downtown Phoenix where Amy Schwabenlender is executive director.

“It’s very difficult to create permanent facilities and have service providers be permanently in every area of the Valley, and Project Connect is a model that is known to people, it’s a way to provide those wraparound services in one location,” she said.

While the Human Resources Campus oversees Project Connect, it relies on state, local and nonprofit providers to participate. Guests will have access to food, clothing, showers, haircuts and bike repairs. And they can meet with health care, housing, and employment specialists.

More than 200 people are expected to visit University Presbyterian Church located at 139 E. Alameda Drive in Tempe. 

Schwabenlender said volunteers are needed to serve as guest guides so that each person feels welcomed and is guided through the process and meeting the appropriate service providers. People interested in volunteering or providing services can email [email protected].

Project Connect holds pop-up events in different locations about every six weeks. In February, the event was held in Surprise.

“As part of our regional approach as the Human Services Campus, we want to make sure we’re taking services to people where they are,” Schwabenlender said. “We’re not about making everyone come to downtown Phoenix to connect with services.”

Steve Carr
Project Connect representatives can help guests get state IDs, apply for Social Security and VA benefits, access emergency shelter and begin the process for stable housing.

Business Health + Medicine Housing