Area homeless and nearly homeless had an opportunity to connect with 30 private organizations and government agencies able to provide them with the resources at Mt. Zion Community center Saturday.
Project Homeless Connect began with a welcoming by local pastors, including Pastor Richard Hayes of New Day Outreach Ministries.
Hayes was followed by Hinesville Mayor Jim Thomas, who thanked service providers and volunteers for the program that improves collaboration between service providers and the homeless.
Mayor Pro Tem Charles Frasier, Councilman David Anderson and the Rev. Hermon Scott of the Homeless Coalition also spoke.
According to Daisy Jones, Hinesville’s Homeless Prevention Program coordinator, 149 people took advantage of the opportunity to meet with service providers, who included dentists, beauticians and barbers. Employment information was provided by the Georgia Department of Labor, and housing information was available from Jones’ office as well available from Jones’ office as well as the Hinesville Housing Authority, Kirk Healing Center and JC Vision and Associates. Even voter registration information was available.
Representatives from the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Disabled American Veterans were on hand to help veterans and widows of veterans.
Annie Washington, nurse manager with the Liberty County Health Department, said she and volunteer Shawntell Bennett handed out certificates for free mammograms, tuberculosis skin tests and immunizations for hepatitis A and B, tetanus and the human papillomavirus.
“The HPV shots are for males and females between 19 to 26 years old,” Washington said. “I hope we’re able to do some good here today. We have a lot of people in our community that need these services.”
Kathy and Ray Lancia and Kathy McCampbell explained the services provided by United Way, including grocery assistance, rent and utility assistance, shelter and other emergency services. The Lancias said they also conduct consumer credit counseling every Thursday.
In addition to getting information to better their financial situation, some ladies and at least one man took advantage of information about skin care that allowed them to get makeovers.
Mary Garrett, Frankie Drayton and Taylor Rhoden gathered around a table and listened to Andrea Morris, a Mary Kay representative, who talked them through procedures for a facial. Wanda Julien, also with Mary Kay, even convinced the mayor pro tem to try a facial.
Lunch was provided by Sho Nuf Smokin Good BBQ and McDonalds. Lunch tickets were provided at check-out when participants completed a checklist of service providers.