This is a one day, one stop shop that offers homeless services to those in need in the community. Mary Simons, the Director of Open Doors Homeless Coalition, says, "On any given night on the Coast, there are between 400 and 500 people experiencing homelessness." Hundreds of people lined up Friday morning against the wall at the Donal Snyder Community Center. Inside awaited free services, from haircuts and medical help, to mental health counseling. One homeless resident says, "I came here to get more clothes for my children." The date chosen for Project Homeless Connect on the Coast coincides with Hunger and Homeless Awareness Week and is also just days before Thanksgiving. Simons also says, "This is a time we're giving thanks and now we're able to help others.” In addition to receiving information that will help them, the homeless residents also get hygiene kits with toothpaste, combs, razors, and anything that will help them out."
Robert Golsby, a homeless resident, says, "Right now I'm a homeless person. I came here to get the benefits and things they're giving out." Around 300 people experiencing homelessness received help meeting important needs that might otherwise have gone unmet. Kenney Washington, the Vice President of the Board of Directors for Open Doors Homeless Coalition, says, "They are in our community and most of them are looking for a hand up, not a hand out." The event had 30 venders and 60 volunteers, all donating time and resources to help individuals and families. You can donate to Project Homeless Connect at www.projecthomelessconnect.com.