University of Maryland Students, Faculty, and Staff Join Thousands at M&T Bank Stadium
On Aug. 2, students, faculty, and staff from the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) participated in Baltimore's first Project Homeless Connect at the M&T Bank Stadium. Hundreds of service organizations and agencies from across Maryland turned out to provide services for thousands of Baltimore's homeless families.
Through its Preparing the Future program (www.jacques.umaryland.edu/PTF), the JACQUES Initiative partnered with the University's Office of Interprofessional Service Learning & Student Initiatives to provide free, rapid HIV testing and linkage to care services.
Under the supervision of Alexandra (Allie) Reitz and Harriet Kapilikisha, the JACQUES Initiative coordinated 21 students from five of UMB's professional schools including law, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, and social work. The group met with 84 people to provide various services.
Allie Reitz, coordinator of community & external affairs for the JACQUES Initiative said, "The students worked as an integrated team with dignity, poise and respect - it did not matter what discipline they were from, they complemented each other with the common goal of providing a service to a community in need."
Michelle Salomon, JD, a clinical law fellow at the Carey School of Law, spoke on behalf of the volunteers in this video.
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's Office of Human Services, United Way of Central Maryland, KPMG, and Beta Alpha Psi organized Project Homeless Connect in partnership with local providers.
Project Homeless Connect is a national model that has been replicated in more than 260 cities across the United States. During the event, volunteers act as one-on-one guides for homeless individuals as they navigate an array of services, including everything from housing to haircuts to health insurance. The 2011 biennial Point-in-Time homelessness survey counted 4,088 individuals who were homeless on a single night in Baltimore City.
For more information about the JACQUES Initiative of the Institute of Human Virology and the Preparing the Future program, please visit their website at www.jacques.umaryland.edu.