Provided by Lincoln County Commissioner Bill Hall and Samaritan House Director Lola Jones
Organizers of the seventh annual Project Homeless Connect say they expect to serve more than 200 homeless individuals at the event, set for Friday, October 4, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Church of Nazarene, 227 N.W. 12th Street, Newport.
The first Homeless Connect was held in San Francisco in 2004. Since then, it’s been repeated in hundreds of communities across the United States. It was brought to Lincoln County in 2007 to mark the official launch of “At Home in Lincoln County,” the community plan to address homelessness and affordable housing needs. The first event served 125 people; 223 attended last year.
“This is an outstanding community collaboration,” said County Commissioner Bill Hall “We have state, regional, county and city agencies; faith-based programs; and private non-profits, all coming together to offer help to individuals and families in crisis. It’s supported by the generosity of many local individuals and businesses, as well as hundreds of hours of volunteer time.”
The event provides a hot meal, non-perishable food items, tarps, personal care items, socks and underwear, haircuts, legal services, Oregon Health Plan and food stamp enrollment, assistance in obtaining legal I.D., immunizations, urgent dental care, pet care and more. Lincoln County Transit bus service is free throughout the county the entire day.
“The need for these services continues to be great,” said Hall, noting that the Lincoln County School District reported a record number of students meeting the federal definition of homelessness last year—about 1 in ten students lack a “fixed, regular, adequate nighttime residence.”
Although the community response has been outstanding, Hall said, there’s still a need for resources. Volunteers are still very much in demand; the sign up form is available by clicking here. Cash donations will be used to provide additional tangible goods for homeless individuals or legal identification papers. Those donations may be sent to Samaritan House, 715 S.W. Bay Street, Newport, 97365, with “Homeless Connect” in the memo line. Several area churches and Payne West Insurance at 811 N. Coast Highway, Newport, are accepting clothing, personal care items and non-perishable food through the morning of October 3.
Contact Bill Hall, 541-265-4100;
Lola Jones, 541-574-8898