Service organizations came together with some of Juneau’s population experiencing homelessness and other providers on the Project Homeless Connect event on April 28, 2022 at the Glory Hall and St. Vincent de Paul Juneau. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

Service organizations came together with some of Juneau’s population experiencing homelessness and other providers on the Project Homeless Connect event on April 28, 2022 at the Glory Hall and St. Vincent de Paul Juneau. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

Social services organizations, people Connect again

Resource fair returns after a pandemic pause.

Local organizations supporting Juneau’s vulnerable populations came together at the Glory Hall and St. Vincent de Paul Juneau to hold the first Homeless Connect event in years.

Normally held at the same time as the point-in-time count to assess how many people experiencing homelessness are in the community, regularly held in January, the event was pushed to this week as dozens of groups gathered in the sunny afternoon to help residents and renew old ties, said organizer and Zach Gordon Youth Center youth services coordinator Kaitlyn Conway.

“It was originally scheduled in January. We had to reschedule due to the COVID spike,” Conway said in an interview. “This is the first one since COVID. The last one was in January 2020.”

[Police say drugs were found inside suspect arrested at airport]

About 30 providers, from SVDP and Glory Hall to organizations like the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium’s Front Street Clinic, Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska, Southeast Alaska Independent Living, JAHMI Health & Wellness Inc. and many others sent representatives to talk to those who required their services.

This event helps shrink the communication loops between organizations and helps those who need their services, said Dave Ringle, general manager of SVDP. He referred to a person who had been trying to get a replacement social security card.

Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire 
Service organizations came together with some of Juneau’s population experiencing homelessness and other providers on the Project Homeless Connect event to help streamline access to services on April 28, 2022 at the Glory Hall and St. Vincent de Paul Juneau.

Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire Service organizations came together with some of Juneau’s population experiencing homelessness and other providers on the Project Homeless Connect event to help streamline access to services on April 28, 2022 at the Glory Hall and St. Vincent de Paul Juneau.

“We did two weeks of playing phone tag in two hours of communicating,” Ringle said in an interview.

Many of the participants had only previously met virtually, Conway said. More than 80 people showed up to take advantage of the services offered, Conway estimated.

“It was great to see the providers for the first time in person,” Conway said. “I met so many people for the first time in person who I had only met on Zoom. They were like, ‘you’re tall.’”

Those close ties can help make sure that the organizations are looking out for Juneau’s vulnerable, Conway said.

“It’s important for everyone who has the same goal to get together,” said Justin Norris, registered nurse who works in the Front Street Clinic. “This mobile unit is here twice a week. It’s a full primary care visit.”

That common ground and close ties can help organizations as they deal with the multiheaded issues that can occur for people experiencing homelessness on top of other issues, Ringle said.

“I’ve noticed everyone is talking to each other. There is no stereotypical homeless person. It’s a complicated issue. People need different services,” Ringle said. “The opportunity to sit in a parking lot on a sunny day and talk to each other means when we have someone with a difficult, complicated situation, we have the basic knowledge and trust to better meet the needs of the people we serve.”

• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at (757) 621-1197 or mlockett@juneauempire.com.

More in News

A Princess Cruise Line ship is docked in Juneau on Aug. 25, 2021. (Michael Lockett / Juneau Empire File)
Ships in Port for the week of Sept. 25

Here’s what to expect this week.

Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire
Faith Rogers’ loved ones, from left to right, James Rogers (father), Michelle Rogers (sister), Harmony Wentz (daughter), Maria Rogers (mother) and Mindy Voigt (friend) sit with Faith’s three dogs in their family home. Faith Rogers, 55, of Juneau was found dead along a popular trail on Wednesday, Sept. 21. Police are investigating the death as a homicide.
‘It’s shocking’: Family hopes for answers after suspicious death of loved one

“She wanted to make things beautiful, to help make people beautiful…”

People work together to raise the Xa’Kooch story pole, which commemorates the Battle of the Inian Islands. (Shaelene Grace Moler / For the Capital City Weekly)
Resilient Peoples & Place: The Xa’Kooch story pole — one step toward a journey of healing

“This pole is for the Chookaneidi, but here among us, many clans are represented…”

A bracket fungus exudes guttation drops and a small fly appears to sip one of them.( Courtesy Photo / Bob Armstrong)
On the Trails: Water drops on plants

Guttation drops contain not only water but also sugars, proteins, and probably minerals.

A chart shows what critics claim is poor financial performance by the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority, especially in subsidizing private industry projects intended to boost the state’s economy, during its 55-year existence. The chart is part of a report released Tuesday criticizing the agency. (MB Barker/LLC Erickson & Associates/EcoSystems LLC)
AIDEA’s fiscal performance fishy, critics say

Report presented by salmon industry advocates asserts state business subsidy agency cost public $10B

Police vehicles gather Wednesday evening near Kaxdigoowu Héen Dei, also known as ]]Brotherhood Bridge Trail, while investigating a homicide. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)
Police: Woman was walking dogs when she was killed

JPD said officers are working “around the clock” on the criminal investigation.

In this photo provided by the U.S. Coast Guard, a Coast Guard Cutter Kimball crew-member observes a foreign vessel in the Bering Sea, Monday, Sept. 19, 2022. The U.S. Coast Guard cutter on routine patrol in the Bering Sea came across the guided missile cruiser from the People's Republic of China, officials said Monday, Sept. 26.  (U.S. Coast Guard District 17 via AP)
Patrol spots Chinese, Russian naval ships off Alaska island

This wasn’t the first time Chinese naval ships have sailed near Alaska waters.

An Alaska judge has ruled that a state lawmaker affiliated with the Oath Keepers, Rep. David Eastman, shown in this February 2022 photo, may stay on the general election ballot in November even though he's likely ineligible to hold public office  (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
Judge keeps Oath Keepers lawmaker on November ballot

Judge ordered delaying certifying the result of the race until a trial scheduled for December.

Water rushes down Front Street, just a half block from the Bering Sea, in Nome, Alaska, on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022 as the remnants of Typhoon Merbok moved into the region. It was a massive storm system — big enough to cover the mainland U.S. from the Pacific Ocean to Nebraska and from Canada to Texas. It influenced weather systems as far away as California, where a rare late-summer storm dropped rain on the northern part of the state, offering a measure of relief to wildfire crews but also complicating fire suppression efforts because of mud and loosened earth. (AP Photo / Peggy Fagerstrom)
Repair work begins in some Alaska towns slammed by storm

ANCHORAGE — There’s been significant damage to some roads and homes in… Continue reading

Most Read