Port Angeles fair to offer services for homeless March 7

Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — Fifty people went looking for Project Homeless Connect exactly one month early this year, organizers said.

Remembering the timing of the 2013 service fair, they showed up at Port Angeles' Vern Burton Community Center at Fourth and Peabody Streets on Feb. 7.

Project Homeless Connect is one month later this year.

Next Friday, March 7, people who are experiencing housing crises will find a wide array of one-stop, no-cost help at Vern Burton, from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.

“Having people lining up a month early tells us they really need what Homeless Connect has to offer,” said Mercy Luquetta-Cole, director of Clallam County Homeless Outreach, which is organizing the fair.

At each of the previous four fairs, some people who arrived homeless left having secured housing, she said.

More than 40 services

In addition to agencies that help with housing, guests can connect with more than 40 other services and resources, including hot meals, clothing and hygiene supplies.

New this year, optometrist Cynthia Bidegary will do vision screenings in the morning.

For a second year, two mobile units will provide services on site.

Pain-relief dentistry will be available in the SmileMobile, and the state Department of Social and Health Services mobile office will process benefit claims.

The haircutting area will be staffed by a barber and two hairstylists.

“We have quite a few new service providers signed up, but we also had a couple drop out,” said services coordinator Debbie Tesch.

“In particular, people should not bring their pets, unless they have no safe place to leave them.

“We will have an outdoor pet-sitting area where volunteers will look after pets while their owners are inside, but we have not been able to arrange for veterinary services this year.”

Clallam County Homeless Outreach is an all-volunteer organization with no paid staff.

It incorporated as a tax-deductible nonprofit in 2012 to organize the local annual service expo and other outreach activities.

Contact the group at P.O. Box 804, Port Angeles, WA 98362, or email clallamcounty.homelessoutreach@gmail.com.

Last modified: February 27. 2014 7:11PM
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