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Hope Connection Event Gives One-Stop Relief for Area Homeless

Organizations like Victory Mission and Convoy of Hope came together Wednesday for Hope Connection. This is an event designed to give homeless persons access to services such as housing, employment and even haircuts. KSMU’s Adam Hammons went to the Expo Center in Springfield to see the event.

The Expo Center was alive as people came out to Hope Connection, a one stop service for the area’s homeless. Over 150 volunteers showed up to help, while a number of homeless came for job help, housing, and health care. The event had over 35 things to offer, including legal and mental health services, eyeglasses, education, and haircuts.

There was also a “health zone” that gave flu shots and tested for tuberculosis.

Michelle Garand is with The Community Partnership of the Ozarks.

“Typically an individual who doesn’t have housing has to go place to place to try to find those services and often they need one piece of information they didn’t bring or didn’t have so they have to start the whole process over. So today we’re able to get everything out of the way all at one time.”

Garand says this is the second year for Hope Connection in Springfield. She also says their goal is to keep doing it year after year.

One person who came for help is a man by the name of Kevin. He says he’s helped people in the past, but now he’s the one in need.

“Now that I’m down very close to being homeless, this has helped answer a few questions for me that I couldn’t get through normal channels because everybody’s all in place at one time rather than going one place and being sent somewhere else.”

Hope Connection is based on Project Homeless Connect, which began in San Francisco and is now duplicated in over a hundred communities across the nation.

For KSMU News, I’m Adam Hammons.