Gov. Newsom celebrates annual Project Homeless Connect event in SF

Governor Gavin Newsom was on hand as Project Homeless Connect in San Francisco celebrated a milestone— it's 75th Community Day of Service.

Hundreds of San Francisco's neediest residents filed into Bill Graham Auditorium, the inside converted into a one-stop resource center. Project Homeless Connect offering everything from medical services to government services like getting a driver’s license or identification card. 

Chemista Jacobs attended. "I got me some glasses, permanent glasses," Jacobs said. He says he currently lives in an SRO that he found at a previous Project Homeless Connect event and says he's now on the path to permanent housing. "This is one-stop for anything you need. Housing, dental work medical, anything medical. And, if they don't have it they can always recommend you to places."

Cameras were only allowed inside at the beginning of the day as Newsom toured the milestone 75th Day of Service. Project Homeless Connect started when we was Mayor of San Francisco. The governor saying the homelessness crisis has intensified in the last several years was inspired by what he saw. But he says programs like Project Homeless Connect need to be an ongoing effort. 

"You don't start with a static population of a thousand and get a thousand people off the street and then everybody goes home and calls it a day," said Governor Newsom. "Constantly addressing needs and concerns as they arise."

While the aim is connecting homeless San Franciscans with important services,  in some cases it's just about connecting them with human essentials. 

Good2Go was on hand providing a clean place for necessary functions. 

Jim Summers of Good2Go, says that many homeless people still have mobile devices and having more than a dozen Good2Go restrooms scattered throughout the city could help keep the streets clean. 

"They just don't have a place they call home, they're still connected in any way," said Summers. 

Organizers estimate that what could take up to 20 hours a week with homeless going from one place to another to get services, can be done in just one day at Project Homeless' Connect Day of Service.

Since starting in San Francisco, Project Homeless Connect has inspired more than 250 other cities to adopt a similar model.