Project Homeless Connect provides for those in need
Published: October 20, 2012
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ST. CROIX - Friday morning's rain didn't seem to dampen turnout at the fifth annual Project Homeless Connect on St. Croix.
"It's busy. Very busy," said V.I. Human Services Commissioner Christopher Finch, who pointed out that by noon on Friday, 127 people had shown up for services at the Rudolph Shulterbrandt Agricultural Complex in Estate Lower Love.
They showed up for everything from health screenings and flu shots to services from the departments of Human Services and Labor, massages, haircuts, clothes and food. A variety of government agencies and nonprofits participated.
Human Services and the Inter Agency Council on Homelessness sponsored the event.
Finch said that not everyone who came for services was homeless.
"We're seeing people who are not necessarily homeless, but they're concerned enough for their future that they'll come to an event like this to see what services are available," Finch said. "They are people who are maybe one lost paycheck away from it."
A variety of services were offered, some of them unique.
Mary Kay representatives were doing hand treatments with scented lotion and hand massage.
At another booth, participants could sign up to have someone pray for them for the entire year.
Tiffany and John Bowman from WIVH Christian radio station said they were taking first names and prayer requests, and gave those who signed up for the service a card with a photo of the person who will be praying for them.
If those signing up for the service agreed, their photos also were taken and will be provided to their prayer partners, Tiffany Bowman said. About 30 people had signed up for the service by mid-day.
Austin Georges, who was waiting for a haircut, said the whole event had been "pleasant."
He had gotten two pairs of pants and two shirts but still needed to get shoes, he said.
Georges said he would have liked to have gotten some bed sheets and curtains.
"I got a little shed. I stay in a little wooden shed," he said.
Georges said it was the first time he had come to the event for help.
Sherry Mae James, who lives in a shelter, said that for her the event was like a fair.
"It do help a lot," she said.
- Contact Joy Blackburn at 714-9145 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.