Kurt was just 44-yearsold when he first became homeless.
At the time, he had been living with his girlfriend who suddenly passed away. Soon after, Kurt started staying each night with a different friend or family member, and then eventually stayed regularly at the Salvation Army Lodge. Salvation Army Lodge is where he met his case worker, Celeste.
She told him about a unique event she was involved with called Project Homeless Connect, which is sponsored by Milwaukee Continuum of Care and hosted at Marquette University.
Kurt attended Project Homeless Connect in 2012, with an important mission: to secure his social security and disability benefits. Kurt suffers from COPD and Sleep Apnea, which has prevented him from being able to work regular hours and maintain a steady income.
That year Kurt not only secured his benefits, but also additional needed services.
“They gave me a haircut, a teeth cleaning and I was tested for STD’s,” he said.
The following year, Kurt went back to the event. This time he received help finding low-income housing and referrals to local food banks.
“One of the best parts of an annual event like Project Homeless Connect, is people like Kurt are able to keep coming back to address different needs,” said Celeste.
At last year’s Project Homeless Connect event, Kurt was able to find out about all the benefits his health insurance provides and secure a primary care doctor.
Today, he lives in subsidized housing and focuses most of his time on helping to take care of his aging mom.
On October 22, once again, Kurt will attend the now 6th annual Project Homeless Connect.
It will be his 4th time, this time as a volunteer with an important mission: “I just want to help others,” he said.
Kurt, will join Celeste and nearly 400 other volunteers to help the city’s homeless get connected to services they need to get back on their feet.
If you’d like to learn more about the Milwaukee Continuum of Care’s Project Homeless Connect or volunteer at the event, please visit: www.UnitedWayGMWC.org/Project-Homeless-Connect