JOPLIN, MO – There are several organizations providing services to help the homeless.
And for at least one day, most of them were in the same place at the same time.
When you don’t have a home, chances are good you don’t have any transportation either, and it’s hard to make your way from one organization that can help you get back on your feet to another.
That’s why many of them participated in Project Homeless Connect.
“The purpose is to get our homeless folks in the community to get some connected with services in the area that they may not otherwise be able to access, because they’re on foot or they’re not able to get help, get the help.” Says Robin Smith, Assistant Director, Community Development, Economic Security.
Normally this event is held two times a year, but that hasn’t been the case since the start of COVID.
In fact, the last time Project Homeless Connect was help was back in January of 2020.
Many of the 20 organizations in attendance have programs to help the homeless get into temporary shelter, like Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri.
“The SAFRE Program is for um individuals that have been financially affected by COVID, that have problems with their rent and utilities, we have supportive services for veterans and families and that is for homeless veterans um and we also have rapid rehousing for homeless families.” Says Callie Langford, Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri.
Other organizations are designed to get participants back into the workforce.
“You can enter, come into our facility, uh, register on our website on the Jobs.Mo.Gov website, they can search for jobs and uh we can help the enter into our different programs.” Says Jackie McKibben, Business Services Representative, American Job Center.
“For somebody’s that’s never been in this situation before, it’s super convenient for me, cause I didn’t know where to start, a lot of these people that I’ve met so far, they do this a lot, you know, they kind of know where to go and who to talk to, but I don’t, so this is helping me a lot today.” Says Duanna Heatherly, Seeking Permanent Shelter.