Monday, January 16, 2012

Social services collaborate to help homeless Spokanites

Posted By on Mon, Jan 16, 2012 at 5:42 PM

Thirty-five of Spokane’s nonprofit social services will be collaborating under one roof to offer services to the homeless at an upcoming event called Homeless Connect, which will take place at the Emmanuel Family Life Center on Jan. 26.

Those who are homeless or are in danger of becoming homeless are welcomed to the event, where free lunch and dental and medical screenings with available to participants, along with haircuts by a local barber.

Information on temporary and permanent housing will be provided by organizations like Spokane Neighborhood Action Program, while North West Harvest will be educating attendees about its food bank.

“This is a first-time event for Spokane,” says Spokane Homeless Coalition Communications Manager Ron Hardin. “Some of the members of Homeless Connect looked at other communities that have similar events and decided it would be a positive event for the homeless in [this] community.”

Nonprofit organizations such as Inland Northwest Health Services, Catholic Charities, Community Health Association of Spokane and Molina Health Care will also be participating.

According to Hardin, members of Spokane Homeless coalition will meet after the event to discuss its success and how it could be improved in the future. He says that they hope this will become an annual event.

Spokane Human Service's 2011 One-Day Count estimated that there are 1,273 people without homes in Spokane County, including 359 children.

“There are 35 different nonprofit agencies represented [at the event],” Hardin says. “We anticipate between 300 and 400 people will attend this, though we can accommodate more if we have to.”

Homeless Connect will be held from 10 am to 3 pm on Jan. 26 at 631 S. Richard Allen Court in Spokane.

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