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Mayors’ Plan to End Homeless Begins With Connection

August 30, 2011

During Project Homeless Connect, volunteers will come close to walking in a homeless person’s shoes for a day.

For the event, unsheltered homeless residents will be paired one-on-one with a volunteer from street engagement to accessing the event’s wide range of agencies and service providers.

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton and Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell, along with community partners, discuss the Mayors' Action Plan to End Homelessness.

“People are willing to donate money to various causes; they adopt segments of the highway. This will allow them to adopt a person in need,” said Memphis Mayor A C Wharton. “We are sending a signal to the entire nation that Memphis is a city with heart and compassion.”

Project Homeless Connect, a massive one-day event that strives to gather all the resources needed to leave homelessness in one convenient place, is part of the Mayors’ Action Plan to End Homelessness.  

Last April, Mayor Wharton convened community leaders to create a plan to end homelessness in Memphis and Shelby County within 10 years. The Memphis City Council subsequently approved $250,000 to implement the plan.

To begin implementing the plan, two entities – Partners for the Homeless and the Greater Memphis Interagency Council for the Homeless – merged into one organization, the Community Alliance for the Homeless, and hired Katie Kitchin to be the executive directive. Kitchin previously helped Norfolk, Virginia, reduce homelessness by 25 percent.

“We hope that this event helps break down the barriers that keep people homeless,” Kitchin said. “Often times, it’s that one-on-one connection that really makes a difference in people’s lives.”

The Community Alliance for the Homeless estimates it needs 800 volunteers for the event and is actively recruiting interested individuals. If you wish to volunteer, please contact Constance Graham at 527-1302 or find out more by visiting

To see a video of an event similar to the event being organized in Memphis, please click below: youtube=

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