Project Community Connect started here in 2009. Each year a collection of over 40 local Southern Oregon agencies bring vital services to people struggling to make ends meet. Upwards of 450 people attended that first year. More than 500 people came to the event in May of 2013. But success is not measured by how many walked through the door. This day is created to bring a circle of support to those who are ready to make positive change in their lives. The 2014 Project Connect goal is to be a starting point for a more stable life. We will follow the lives of a small sample of participants through to stability. In 2015 the goal will be to replicate that road to success for even more people. With a budget under $10,000, 2014 Project Connect is about the power of community coming together to make possible the things none of us could do alone.
Some 2014 Project Connect Highlights
Agencies tallied 2317 separate moments of service provided in that one day at Project Community Connect – among those 2014 Project Connect services:
- 35 haircuts by volunteers from Salon Muse.
- 40 homeless pets were treated by Homeless Oregon Pet Project.
- Explorer bus passes were given out by RVTD to help people in homelessness get where the next day’s help is.
- 33 people were seen by Judges Lisa Grief and William Haberlach, Southern Oregon Public Defenders, and Jackson County DA’s office to lift legal barriers, where appropriate, that often trap people in homelessness.
- The DMV helped people get started with state identification.
- Social Security, Veterans Administration and Oregon Self-sufficiency administration were there to help people begin the eligibility process.
- La Clinica provided 292 separate medical and dental services to people.
- Agencies counted 2,326 separate moments where helpful information was given to people looking for help preventing or getting out of homelessness.
- Over 550 lunches were served.
- Sleeping bags, clothing, bicycles and canned food were given out.
- 41 agencies put 422 hours into making 2013 Project Connect happen.
- Over 100 volunteers spent months planning, preparing and participating in Project Community Connect 2013.