Students and faculty members are participating in Project Homeless Connect on Thursday, September 30, to improve access to services, employment, and housing for the homeless and those at risk of becoming homeless.

“This effort exemplifies the concept of experiential learning by taking students out of the classroom and having them work side by side with agencies and community volunteers with focus on a major people problem in our community,” said Dr. Roger Thompson, criminal justice associate professor and chief departmental advisor.

Project Homeless Connect will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the National Guard Armory at 1801 S. Holtzclaw Avenue.

In addition to volunteers from the UTC chapter of Sigma Chi fraternity, twenty-one UTC nursing students will operate a mobile foot clinic in partnership with the Community Kitchen.

“This is truly a student led operation. Students figured out the logistics and made the effort to secure sponsorships and supplies from the community. It’s an opportunity for them to demonstrate leadership and service,” said Dr. Lisa Muirhead, School of Nursing assistant professor.

Project Homeless Connect helps students and volunteers challenge concepts, attitudes, and belief systems about transient populations.

“Seldom do we take time to meet and talk to the homeless listen to their stories, identify their needs, and coordinate resources as a community to address the many dimensions of homelessness,” said Thompson.

Chattanooga’s first Project Homeless Connect event was held on December 4, 2008, at Eastgate Town Center. For more information visit www.hboc.org.

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