City government teams with organizations to help homeless

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COLUMBIA - Twenty-five organizations are teaming up to continue Project Homeless Connect at the Family Impact Center in Columbia. 

Now in its eighth year in mid-Missouri, Project Homeless Connect is used to provide homeless individuals and families with a single access point to health and human services.
 
Bill Cantin, Basic Needs Coalition secretary, said this event is a way to show they care about homeless people.
 
"Basically it’s a way to address folks' basic human dignity,” Cantin said. "It’s like, “hey, come here and we will help you and we’ll feed you and get you the help you need, and try and get you out of the homelessness cycle.””
 
Some of the basic services available include haircuts, breakfast, lunch, and clothes. 
 
“These are human beings just like the rest of us,’ Cantin said, “and so we’re going to help them out as best we can and get them what they need.”
 
In addition to Project Homeless Connect, the city conducts an annual "point in time count." This is used to estimate the number of homeless people living within an area.
 
The method divides homeless individuals into three categories: un-sheltered, sheltered, and doubled up. Doubled up includes homeless people who do not have a consistent place to stay.
 
Last year’s count tallied 49 un-sheltered, 194 sheltered, and 111 doubled up homeless people in Boone County. 
 
Cantin expects more than 100 homeless people will be helped because of Project Homeless Connect.
 
Here is a list of all 25 Organizations attending the Family Impact Center:
 
Boone County Health Department - nursing
Boone County Health Department - social services
Boone County Health Department - HIV testing
Burrell Behavioral Health
Central Missouri Community Action (CMCA)
Columbia Housing Authority
Daniel Boone Regional Library
Division of Family Services
Family Health Center
Family Impact Center
MedZou
Merrell University
Mid Mo Legal Services
Missouri Workforce Development
New Horizons
Phoenix Health Programs
Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid Missouri
Rainbow House
Room at the Inn
Saving Sight
Social Security Administration
Tiny Homes (CMCA)
Turning Point
Veterans Affairs
Vocational Rehab
Voluntary Action Center
Welcome Home
 
The event runs from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday.

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