Homeless Connect Day

Pasadena Tabernacle serves more than 400 individuals.

by Dawn Wells Wright –

Volunteer barber gives a stylish haircut to a young boy during Homeless Connect Day. [Photo by Amy Jennessey]

Known for the Rose Parade and its historic homes, Pasadena, Calif., is also residence for approximately 1,140 individuals who sleep on the streets each night.

In response to this high homeless population, The Salvation Army Pasadena Tabernacle Corps partnered with Union Station Homeless Services, Passageways and Pacific Clinics to give more than 400 homeless individuals a hand up—not handout—at the Third Annual Homeless Connect Day.

“It’s extremely gratifying to see our community’s agencies working together to help the homeless make connections to health, jobs, and housing resources,” Corps Officer Major Keilah Toy said. “Professional haircuts, checkups, identification cards and more, we’re a one-stop place to help someone get off the street and back on their feet.”

The event featured more than 60 social service providers who offered housing, medical, mental and dental services referrals. Twenty individuals were taken off the streets completely.

Not only supplying tangible needs, the affair boosted the spirits of those who felt discouraged and hopeless. Many Salvation Army officers were on hand to provide encouragement and minister to their spiritual needs.

More than 100 volunteers dedicated their time and talents to the event, including over 50 Azusa Pacific University students who paired up one-on-one with clients to help them navigate through the booths, playing a huge role in meeting each person’s unique needs.

Among the special guests was Fritz Coleman, who participated in a “Meet and Greet” as well as keynote discussion during lunch.

For more information on helping the homeless in Pasadena, call Pat Riley, director of social services, at (626) 773-4404.

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