20 Nov New Member Project – HYPED
New Members Lindsey Groth, Victoria Masselink, Brittany Hobson, Amy Bragg, Heather Wright, Stuart Lee, and Alyssa Pearson chose volunteering at HYPED for the New Member project. This event was held at Spanaway Middle School and was a great opportunity to connect with homeless youth in the community and also to network with organizations that focus on serving this population.
This was the first event that Homeless Connect organized that was focused on youth experiencing homelessness. Last year, over 600 homeless adults attended a similar event held at the Tacoma Dome. Due to the fact that this was the first event focusing on youth, the attendance was slightly lower than expected. The organizers of HYPED decided to open up the event to all individuals experiencing hard times or who were homeless, which increased the number of participants throughout the day.
The services provided included haircuts, dental and medical care, resume writing, and insurance advice. Homeless Connect was focusing on enrolling everyone in a healthcare plan. Individuals attending were asked to first sign up for government healthcare if they were not already. Once signed up, attendees were able to receive a flu shot and check up followed by a visit with healthcare providers on site. Hamburgers and hot dogs were available and a clean cafeteria to sit down and eat. When attendees were ready to leave, they answered a brief survey about the event and then received a ticket to go through the giveaway line. Clothing, books, and hygiene products were some of the items that were available.
New Members’ assignment for HYPED was to greet and direct participants to different booths and to encourage individuals to attend the event. Half of the group welcomed participants to the event and guided them to different booths. The other half of the group, our “grassroots group,” walked around Spanaway to pass out flyers. This tactic was successful in bringing more people to the event. The venue was somewhat difficult to find so our group was able to help people find the location. Flyers were delivered to the Goodwill, Laundromat, and other local businesses.
Overall, the event was a success and a great experience. Homeless Connect is holding two more events this year and have invited the Junior League to participate. We think we can help bring awareness to future events and help boost participation.