Planning is under way for the second annual Project Connect gathering to be held September 27th. Numerous individuals and representatives of service organizations have signed up to volunteer as part of the effort. Representatives of Catholic Charities, Spectrum Healthcare, Goodwill Industries and Old town Mission were among planning agencies.
The endeavor is described as a “one-stop day event where individuals experiencing homelessness can connect to resources to break barriers to safe housing.” Last year, Project Connect was held in mid-September, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., at the Old Town Mission.
Eliza Louden of Catholic Charities says, this year, she would like to see the effort develop some demographics on local homelessness and institute some “case conferencing” for individuals.
Police have teamed up with retail stores who find people involved in an ever-growing problem of panhandling on their street corners in order to exclude those involved in aggressive panhandling with the Safe Shopper Program.
Similar to the effort specifically earmarked for homeless Vets, “Stand Down,” the local Project Connect aims to provide resources to those who suffer homelessness.
Participants who visit several of the service providers are given a free lunch and hygiene pack.
Tina Haines says she formerly worked with a Project Connect at Lincoln County Oregon which also offered dental services among many other offerings. Lincoln County also held the event twice annually.
Last year, Project Connect provided enrollment in food stamps, showers, haircuts, health screenings and housing information. In addition volunteers provided mental health services, eye care, DES veteran vocational rehab and VA benefit eligibility.
Committees were created to coordinate health, services, and advertising. For information about how to volunteer for the one day event September 27, contact Catholic Charities in Cottonwood at 928-634-4254. The next meeting of the planning committee will be held July 7, at 1 p.m.
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