Jefferson City project aims to remove barriers for homeless

4 months 1 week 6 hours ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 3:23:00 AM CDT October 18, 2019 in Top Stories
By: Micki Neiman, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

JEFFERSON CITY - The fifth annual Project Homeless Connect begins Friday.

The event provides support for those experiencing homelessness, or who are near homeless, to become self-sufficient. The project is based out of three main churches in downtown Jefferson City and each church provides a variety of different resources. 

Guests can expect a to receive a hot meal, sweaters and heavy coats, a new ID card and backpacks stuffed full of everyday necessities: soap, washcloths, socks, cleaning supplies and more. 

Project chair, Edwin Cooper, said those attending are referred to as "guests" and will have tour guides to help them connect with service providers, community organizations, social services and many others. 

"I think this is a great resource for the homeless people in Jefferson City to get linkage to some of the things they need," Cooper said. "It's just a one-day event, but the issues for the people that come here goes beyond the one day."

One of the churches, First Baptist, acts as a free health fair. Here guests can expect same-day health check-ups such as blood pressure checks, eye exams, dental screenings and flu shots. 

Another leader within the organization, Sheila Murphy, said she believes providing guests with these resources allows them an opportunity they otherwise wouldn't be able to afford. 

“If [homeless people] have to make decisions between going to a dentist or eating and paying their heat bill, they’ll choose the heat bill and eating," Murphy said. "I don’t worry about going to the dentist. I pay for it. I don’t worry about a winter coat, I don’t worry about having shampoo in my house. I’ve never worried about that, but these people live a different life than I do.”

While the three churches, First United Methodist Church, Baptist Church and First Christian Church, all house a variety of resources throughout the day, the goal is all the same. 

“It’s important for our community to come together and support those people," Amy Rogers, co-chair of the media committee, said. "And so, maybe, if we provide those services and show them where they can get the help, maybe we can help those on the streets, get off the streets."

As the community inches toward the nearly five-month anniversary of the tornado and flooding that swept through Jefferson City, Coopers said the project talked about having a disaster response area in addition to the already provided medical and employment services.

"We thought we needed more services in relation to disaster, but the community has met the short-term needs in a lot of different ways," Cooper said. "But that was my first gut reaction: we're going to need more."

Cooper said they aren't expecting a giant increase in the number of guests as compared to previous years, but if guests who have been displaced by the disaster show up, they will still serve them. 

The event will be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in downtown Jefferson City. After the event, the committees and volunteers will take about a month off before diving right into planning for the next year. 

More News

Grid
List
BRUNSWICK - After a year of record-breaking flooding, neighbors in Brunswick hope they don't see a repeat this summer. ... More >>
6 hours ago Sunday, February 23 2020 Feb 23, 2020 Sunday, February 23, 2020 8:22:00 PM CST February 23, 2020 in News
LINN - A lot of the times it's hard to know the affect you'll have on someone until after it's... More >>
8 hours ago Sunday, February 23 2020 Feb 23, 2020 Sunday, February 23, 2020 7:08:00 PM CST February 23, 2020 in Sports
BOONVILLE — Community members in Boonville gathered Sunday in support of moving the Boonslick Regional Library (BRL) Cooper County Branch... More >>
9 hours ago Sunday, February 23 2020 Feb 23, 2020 Sunday, February 23, 2020 6:15:00 PM CST February 23, 2020 in News
AP — State attorneys general are finding a national settlement over the toll of opioids to be elusive, as some... More >>
15 hours ago Sunday, February 23 2020 Feb 23, 2020 Sunday, February 23, 2020 11:17:32 AM CST February 23, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Dozens of boy scouts and girl scouts showed up for water safety event at Hickman High School Sunday... More >>
16 hours ago Sunday, February 23 2020 Feb 23, 2020 Sunday, February 23, 2020 10:34:00 AM CST February 23, 2020 in News
SEDALIA — A 49-year-old man was taken to the University of Missouri hospital via air ambulance after sustaining a gunshot... More >>
17 hours ago Sunday, February 23 2020 Feb 23, 2020 Sunday, February 23, 2020 9:25:40 AM CST February 23, 2020 in News
FULTON - Police arrested a 44 year old Fulton man after he attempted to unlawfully enter a home twice, assaulted... More >>
21 hours ago Sunday, February 23 2020 Feb 23, 2020 Sunday, February 23, 2020 6:10:00 AM CST February 23, 2020 in News
SEDALIA- Police officers in Sedalia responded to a report of a man lying in the roadway near the 700 block... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, February 22 2020 Feb 22, 2020 Saturday, February 22, 2020 11:01:00 PM CST February 22, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Dozens of MU students gathered to raise money for cancer research Saturday. Mizzou's Relay for Life raised... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, February 22 2020 Feb 22, 2020 Saturday, February 22, 2020 6:41:00 PM CST February 22, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY — Police arrested three people after a Saturday afternoon robbery led to a car chase, according to a... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, February 22 2020 Feb 22, 2020 Saturday, February 22, 2020 5:46:00 PM CST February 22, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri voters legalized medical marijuana in 2018, but some lawmakers are worried about what that could... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, February 22 2020 Feb 22, 2020 Saturday, February 22, 2020 4:53:00 PM CST February 22, 2020 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Missouri may have shed its unwanted image as the meth lab capital of the U.S.,... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, February 22 2020 Feb 22, 2020 Saturday, February 22, 2020 4:21:00 PM CST February 22, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia is getting a break from winter weather this weekend and many residents are taking advantage of it.... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, February 22 2020 Feb 22, 2020 Saturday, February 22, 2020 4:21:00 PM CST February 22, 2020 in News
REEDS SPRING, Mo. – Students in the Reeds Spring School District will begin a four-day school week next school... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, February 22 2020 Feb 22, 2020 Saturday, February 22, 2020 4:11:55 PM CST February 22, 2020 in A Brighter Tomorrow
COLUMBIA – Several First Ward neighborhood associations hosted a town hall forum Saturday with city council candidates to discuss housing,... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, February 22 2020 Feb 22, 2020 Saturday, February 22, 2020 4:07:00 PM CST February 22, 2020 in News
Black LGBTQ youth are less likely to receive mental health... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, February 22 2020 Feb 22, 2020 Saturday, February 22, 2020 3:51:00 PM CST February 22, 2020 in A Brighter Tomorrow
COLUMBIA — In an effort to contain the novel coronavirus, the Chinese government has canceled a number of exams this... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, February 22 2020 Feb 22, 2020 Saturday, February 22, 2020 2:56:57 PM CST February 22, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA— A Columbia chiropractic office hosted a seminar to educate and empower women Saturday afternoon. The event was part of... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, February 22 2020 Feb 22, 2020 Saturday, February 22, 2020 2:13:00 PM CST February 22, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 44°
4am 45°
5am 44°
6am 44°
7am 44°