Jefferson City project aims to remove barriers for homeless

1 month 3 weeks 23 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
COLUMBIA - Former Columbia police chief Ken Burton has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor after originally being charged with driving... More >>
2 days ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 2:45:00 PM CST December 06, 2019 in News
HALLSVILLE - Kari Hallowell, the mother of 17-year-old Hayden Holt, who died in an overnight car crash after being chased... More >>
2 days ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 2:04:00 PM CST December 06, 2019 in News
PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP)- Two U.S. officials have identified the shooter at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola as a second... More >>
2 days ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 1:53:00 PM CST December 06, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - This weekend, 47 high school basketball teams from five states will go head-to-head in the 2019 Norm Stewart... More >>
2 days ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 1:24:00 PM CST December 06, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA- Former MU Quarterback Drew Lock is set to make his second start with the Denver Broncos this Sunday versus... More >>
2 days ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 12:28:00 PM CST December 06, 2019 in Sports
BOONE COUNTY- A 52-year-old male suffered two gunshot wounds Thursday night after getting into a fight with two people at... More >>
3 days ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 10:53:00 AM CST December 06, 2019 in News
RICH HILL- Relatives of a missing Missouri mother say they are growing increasingly concerned after deputies found the woman's phone,... More >>
3 days ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 10:22:00 AM CST December 06, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The Missouri State Highway Patrol confirmed Hayden Holt, a 17-year-old from Hallsville, died in an overnight car crash... More >>
3 days ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 6:41:00 AM CST December 06, 2019 in News
MARSHALL - Police arrested a man Thursday after they said he tried to rob a loan office. Employees of... More >>
3 days ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 4:23:00 AM CST December 06, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Soon, every fifth grader in Boone County will have the opportunity to learn math, history, language arts and... More >>
3 days ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 3:44:00 AM CST December 06, 2019 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - Last winter saw major snow storms, ice, and extreme cold. This winter could see similar systems, however, the... More >>
3 days ago Thursday, December 05 2019 Dec 5, 2019 Thursday, December 05, 2019 9:00:00 PM CST December 05, 2019 in Weather
COLUMBIA - Winter weather is often attacked in an attempt to prove climate change and global warming are not real.... More >>
3 days ago Thursday, December 05 2019 Dec 5, 2019 Thursday, December 05, 2019 8:25:00 PM CST December 05, 2019 in Weather
COLUMBIA - While most of us use the weather forecast in order to plan our own day, some people need... More >>
3 days ago Thursday, December 05 2019 Dec 5, 2019 Thursday, December 05, 2019 7:56:00 PM CST December 05, 2019 in Weather
COLUMBIA - Another recreational complex is coming to Mid-Missouri. The City of Columbia and officials from Boone County announced... More >>
3 days ago Thursday, December 05 2019 Dec 5, 2019 Thursday, December 05, 2019 6:38:00 PM CST December 05, 2019 in News
KANSAS CITY - Three men were charged on Thursday for being involved in a drug-trafficking conspiracy after federal agents seized... More >>
3 days ago Thursday, December 05 2019 Dec 5, 2019 Thursday, December 05, 2019 4:32:00 PM CST December 05, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - A marijuana advocacy group said people who have legal medical marijuana licenses are still being arrested. In... More >>
3 days ago Thursday, December 05 2019 Dec 5, 2019 Thursday, December 05, 2019 4:28:00 PM CST December 05, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Jefferson City Public School nurses could be getting a new medication to add to their medicine cabinets... More >>
3 days ago Thursday, December 05 2019 Dec 5, 2019 Thursday, December 05, 2019 2:42:00 PM CST December 05, 2019 in News
TIPTON - David Dubois was taken into custody on Monday for stealing. A property owner in Fortuna, Mo. reported... More >>
3 days ago Thursday, December 05 2019 Dec 5, 2019 Thursday, December 05, 2019 2:31:00 PM CST December 05, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 49°
1pm 48°
2pm 44°
3pm 39°
4pm 37°