United Way's Project Homeless Connect helps 550 individuals and families in Harford

The Aegis

United Way of Central Maryland said it helped 550 struggling individuals and families at the organization’s Project Homeless Connect in Harford County held Tuesday afternoon at the APG Federal Credit Union Arena on the campus of Harford Community College.

For its third year organizing Project Homless Connect, United Way gathered 59 local organizations and more than 500 community volunteers to ensure local community members received the vital services they needed, United Way said in a news release.

Both attendance and volunteer participation increased, according to United Way. At the 2016 Project Connect held at The Epicenter in Edgewood, 450 inviduals were helped by 200 volunteers

Each volunteer at Tuesday’s Harford County Project Homeless Connect was matched one-on-one with an adult or family, who helped guide them to the critical services they were in need of the most, United Way said.

Similar to last year, this year’s event featured an onsite dental clinic, thanks to Fallston Family Dentistry and many other private practices, that offered cleanings, fillings and extractions to 165 patients over the course of the day — up from last year’s total of 64, according to United Way.

In addition to the dental clinic, on-the-spot critical services — ranging from housing information, photo ID, birth certificates, employment programs, haircuts, legal services and more — were available. There were 114 vision screenings completed and 107 eyeglasses prescribed to individuals, the organization said.

“When individuals are United on a common goal, they can make a real, positive impact — and Project Homeless Connect is proof of that,” Franklyn Baker, president and CEO of United Way of Central Maryland, said in a statement. “When you can see the relief and gratitude in someone’s eyes just from receiving a haircut or proper care for a bad tooth, it is humbling and also demonstrates the immeasurable positive impact this event can have on so many lives.”

“We are so grateful for the dedication and thoughtfulness of our volunteers and service providers who gave their time and resources to help their local neighbors in need,” Baker said.

Replicated in more than 300 cities, Project Homeless Connect is a resource fair that provides those experiencing or at-risk of homelessness on-the-spot services all in one place, according to United Way.

United Way of Central Maryland’s Project Homeless Connect in Harford County was made possible by partnerships with Harford County government and Harford Community College, as well as many other generous sponsors including APG Federal Credit Union, Harford Mutual Insurance, Healthy Harford, Jones Junction, Jordan Thomas Salon & Spa, NVS Merle Norman Salon, Pats Pizza and Wells Fargo Advisors.

To learn more about this year’s Project Homeless Connect, visit www.uwcm.org/phc.

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