Last week, we were at the Union Gospel Mission’s annual Summer Connect event. Summer Connect brings together 35 different social agencies in one location. The idea is to put all these service providers under one roof so that homeless and other poverty-stricken people can access services without many of the barriers they would otherwise have to face. To those without an address, transportation, or literacy, many of these services become inaccessible.
This year was one of busiest we’ve ever seen. We were there with an information table and an outreach worker ready to answer questions. By the time the doors opened at 11 a.m., there was a lineup of people waiting to get in. Over the course of the day, around 150 people stopped by the table to ask questions and look at the publications we had brought. Your Welfare Rights was one of the more popular publications we handed out. All in all, we answered 86 different legal questions that ranged from housing issues through family law, through criminal law, to child protection, and everything in between.
Summer Connect is a great chance for us to reach out to a community who we may not get to see on a regular basis. Not only is it a good opportunity for them to access the services they need, but it’s also a good opportunity for us to find out where the gaps in services are and how we can address them.
Thanks to United Gospel Mission for organizing this event!