Jefferson City project aims to remove barriers for homeless

3 months 9 hours 54 minutes 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 – The city of Columbia reporter hundreds of residents were without power Friday afternoon in east central Columbia, in... More >>
1 hour ago Friday, January 17 2020 Jan 17, 2020 Friday, January 17, 2020 6:03:00 PM CST January 17, 2020 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Former Walmart Inc. chief executive David Glass, who owned the Kansas City Royals for nearly... More >>
2 hours ago Friday, January 17 2020 Jan 17, 2020 Friday, January 17, 2020 5:24:21 PM CST January 17, 2020 in News
MID-MISSOURI - Another week in January, and another winter storm. This time around it will likely all happen in one... More >>
2 hours ago Friday, January 17 2020 Jan 17, 2020 Friday, January 17, 2020 4:46:00 PM CST January 17, 2020 in Weather
COLUMBIA- The Columbia Fire Department is reminding residents to make sure their home is safe during these cold temperatures. ... More >>
3 hours ago Friday, January 17 2020 Jan 17, 2020 Friday, January 17, 2020 4:03:00 PM CST January 17, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Boone Hospital Center will hold a job fair specifically for former employees of Pinnacle Hospital on Tuesday. The... More >>
4 hours ago Friday, January 17 2020 Jan 17, 2020 Friday, January 17, 2020 3:12:00 PM CST January 17, 2020 in News
FULTON - Police took one suspect into custody after responding Friday afternoon to a burglary in progress call near W... More >>
4 hours ago Friday, January 17 2020 Jan 17, 2020 Friday, January 17, 2020 3:05:00 PM CST January 17, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Sleet and freezing rain hit across mid-Missouri throughout the day Friday. Jefferson City Public Works director... More >>
4 hours ago Friday, January 17 2020 Jan 17, 2020 Friday, January 17, 2020 2:52:00 PM CST January 17, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The last flight to land at Columbia Regional Airport Friday touched down at 10:00 a.m. Those departing the... More >>
4 hours ago Friday, January 17 2020 Jan 17, 2020 Friday, January 17, 2020 2:52:00 PM CST January 17, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The city of Columbia is reporting more than 1,000 people are without power in east central Columbia, in... More >>
5 hours ago Friday, January 17 2020 Jan 17, 2020 Friday, January 17, 2020 2:26:12 PM CST January 17, 2020 in News
FULTON - Officers took two suspects into custody after investigating a report of a stolen package in the residential area... More >>
5 hours ago Friday, January 17 2020 Jan 17, 2020 Friday, January 17, 2020 2:03:00 PM CST January 17, 2020 in News
MONTGOMERY COUNTY - Two people have been arrested and charged in connection with the 2017 death of Benjamin Renick. ... More >>
7 hours ago Friday, January 17 2020 Jan 17, 2020 Friday, January 17, 2020 12:03:00 PM CST January 17, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - With colder temperatures expected to arrive in mid-Missouri, shelters are preparing to care for those in need. ... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, January 16 2020 Jan 16, 2020 Thursday, January 16, 2020 6:27:00 PM CST January 16, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - One Missouri lawmaker's bill could create new curriculum for schools in the state. House Bill 2153, sponsored... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, January 16 2020 Jan 16, 2020 Thursday, January 16, 2020 5:21:00 PM CST January 16, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said Thursday that he plans to fight efforts to expand the number... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, January 16 2020 Jan 16, 2020 Thursday, January 16, 2020 4:06:00 PM CST January 16, 2020 in News
NEW FRANKLIN — In a Facebook post Wednesday afternoon, New Franklin police chief Mike Wise announced plans to step down.... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, January 16 2020 Jan 16, 2020 Thursday, January 16, 2020 2:14:00 PM CST January 16, 2020 in News
BOONVILLE - The announcement of Pinnacle Regional Hospital's closing came suddenly this week, even catching residents off guard who expected... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, January 16 2020 Jan 16, 2020 Thursday, January 16, 2020 1:57:00 PM CST January 16, 2020 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House violated federal law in withholding security assistance to Ukraine, an action at the... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, January 16 2020 Jan 16, 2020 Thursday, January 16, 2020 12:35:15 PM CST January 16, 2020 in News
WASHINGTON DC - The United States Senate passed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, 89-10, on Wednesday morning, and Senators Josh Hawley... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, January 16 2020 Jan 16, 2020 Thursday, January 16, 2020 11:32:00 AM CST January 16, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 32°
8pm 34°
9pm 34°
10pm 35°
11pm 36°