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Missoula community bands together to help homeless during annual event

Project Homeless Connect.jpg
Posted at 6:01 PM, Jan 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-31 20:47:37-05

MISSOULA — There are hundreds of people experiencing homelessness in Missoula and that's why every year nonprofits and businesses team up to provide services during a special event.

The Missoula At-Risk Housing Coalition held its 14th annual Project Community Connect on Friday.

The event aims to provide services to community members that are experiencing, or at risk of experiencing homelessness.

Jathan Moreno, Rachel Blue Earth, and their 2-month-old – who are got ID's, a haircut, and clothes at the event.

"People even just coming up and helping is awesome,” Blue Earth said.

They are currently housed through Family Promise of Missoula.

"It's been so much of a blessing, all the resources they've helped us with, just guiding us which way to go,” Moreno told MTN News.

They say they are thankful for all the help they've received through the program.

"If it wasn't for them, I don't think we would've gotten this far, to be honest,” Moreno said.

More than 100 volunteers provided medical and dental care, pet care, and legal services, among numerous other resources.

"This consolidates it all so they can come one stop shopping and get all the many needs met,” explained Project Community Connect volunteer Julie Turnen explained.

Almost 400 people were expected to participate in this year's event.

Volunteer Amy Thomas helped with the Point in Time survey at last year's Project Community Connect, which found that there were 344 people experiencing homelessness in 2019.

"It's just so great to see how many people come out each year to help. But as a reminder, this is an ongoing epidemic in Missoula, it's not just a one-day event,” Thomas pointed out.

Seventy-five nonprofits and businesses provided this year's services and resources.