Last month I had the opportunity to volunteer with Journey Home, an organization founded with the mission to end homelessness in the greater Hartford area. I served with a group of volunteers for three days, doing data entry and helping to administer the Vulnerability Index survey to homeless individuals in Hartford. The Index was developed to identify those at greatest risk of premature death from remaining homeless, and to help them obtain necessary services based on this identification. More broadly, it provides general statistics on the homeless population in Hartford and in every community across the country where it is administered. I spent one evening at the Immaculate Conception Shelter in Hartford, interviewing the men who were housed there about their history of homelessness, medical and mental problems, substance abuse, and arrests. Despite the difficult subject matter, everyone I spoke to was friendly, forthcoming, and brought a sense of humor to the conversation I wasn’t expecting. I’m grateful I was able to take part in this initiative, and hope to spend more time working with and learning about Hartford’s homeless population.
To learn more about the innovative solutions Journey Home is finding for homelessness, visit their website at http://www.journeyhomect.org/index.html.