St. John hosts Project Homeless Connect

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St. John had its Project Homeless Connect event on Friday.

"Across the territory we have held several Project Homeless Connect events over the past years, and we have seen the positive effects that one special day can have on the lives of those who are struggling. We have seen how one day can put a man or woman on a track of rebuilding their life and reconnecting with society," Gov. John deJongh Jr. said at the event. Project Homeless Connect is a community volunteer effort during which local businesses provide goods and services, such as makeovers, massages, clothing and toiletries to members of the homeless population.

The governor said he thinks it is important for St. John to have its own Project Homeless Connect event, so that the territory can get a better understanding of the distinct challenges on that island, according to a Government House release.

Through intake procedures, officials compile statistics that are added to a management information system for the homeless.

"By having a separate event for St. John, those statistics are not lumped in with St. Thomas, and we have a clearer picture of what the unique challenges are for this island," deJongh said.

Last year on St. John, 59 people - 39 men and 20 women - received health, medical and humanitarian services through the event, according to the release.

Organizations involved in the event included the United Way of St. Thomas and St. John, the departments of Human Services and Health, as well as Veterans Affairs, Project Hope and the Virgin Islands Interagency Council on Homelessness.

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