Pasadena’s unhoused residents and low-income families connected with social services providers on Tuesday, Nov. 2, during The Salvation Army’s annual Homeless Connect Day.
The event, held in collaboration with Azusa Pacific University’s Bachelor of Social Work program, provided Pasadena community members an opportunity to receive flu shots, coronavirus vaccines, medical screenings, housing resources, hearing testing and more, according to Jhoana Hirasuna, director of social services at Salvation Army Pasadena.
Hirasuna, who organized Tuesday’s event, said in an interview that officials were forced to cancel 2020’s Homeless Connect Day due to the pandemic.
“This year, though,” she said, “we wanted to pick it back up but at a much smaller scale.”
In the past, the day would feature as many as 45 organizations who sought to connect people who are either experiencing homelessness, low-income families.
“This year we had 20 service providers who certainly were targeting that population, but we invited people who are at risk of becoming homeless too because of COVID and just all the things that people have been experiencing,” Hirasuna said.
Services offered ranged from wound and vision care to legal aid. Domestic violence shelter leaders and DMV officials were also on hand throughout the day.
“The idea of Homeless Connect Day is to eliminate a lot of the barriers that prevent our community from seeking and receiving these services,” Hirasuna said. “And we hope that this is an event that will continue in the future.”
“We’ve been doing it in this format since 2008 and it’s always, I think, great to see so many people come together,” Hirasuna added. “I also want to mention that this is a wonderful collaboration with Azusa Pacific University whose student volunteers come to this event. We couldn’t do without them.”