Charity event provides one-stop-shop for homeless population

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JEFFERSON CITY — More than 40 state and faith-based organizations pulled their resources to host an event Monday for the homeless and at-risk community in Jefferson City.

"I really think it's absolutely amazing,” said Project Homeless Connect Co-Chair Sarah Nichols. “ It really shows the impact that we can have when we work together as a community to solve problems."

Nichols said many of the services available are difficult for the target demographic to get to on a regular basis. Bus routes often don't run long enough and near desired destinations, like doctor offices.

That lead to the creation of Project Homeless Connect, which is in its second year of existence. She said allows guests a chance to look towards the future.

"Even getting from point A to point B requires a lot of time, a lot of planning,” Nichols said. “Things are just a little more complicated and there's more work required than just surviving, day-to-day."

Services range from HIV tests to haircuts. Nichols said one of the most important things will be the birth certificate station, because that identification allows people to apply for jobs and housing. Free shuttles provided guests with transportation to the event.

Deon Tucker is the director of the Salvation Army Shelter in Jefferson City. He said today is a day of "absolute opportunity."

"Everyone comes to the shelter for different reasons with different things to overcome,” Tucker said. “An event like this that can help with so much across the board gives people a chance to take care of things that they need to take care of."