Project Connect brought together 27 local agencies and 208 community members in 2019.
As a project of the Hillsdale County Continuum of Care, Project Connect helps individuals and families find the care and services they need.
This year, Project Connect will take place on Thursday, Jan. 23 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the gym of Hillsdale Free Methodist Church.
Clint Brugger, who serves as the chair of Hillsdale County Housing Continuum of Care and the county manager at the Community Action Agency said the main goal of Project Connect is to connect people in the community with resources.
“Project Connect was designed as a one-stop shop for those experiencing a housing crisis or struggling with poverty to get connected with local resources,” Brugger said.
Project Connect provides people with resources and information about housing, employment training, veteran services, health services, food assistance, utility assistance, mental health services, legal services, education, youth services, and senior services.
Brugger said there should be more agencies at Project Connect this year as more organizations have decided to get involved. LifeWays Community Mental Health of Hillsdale, which provides people with resources and services about mental health, has attended Project Connect in the past and will be there again this year.
Rebecca Calkins, public relations coordinator for LifeWays, said Project Connect is great for face-to-face interactions with members of the community who may not know about LifeWays.
“There’s a lot of people with mental illness who end up homeless, and we want to help those people,” Calkins said. “We want them know that recovery is possible.”
Some participating organizations will provide community members with children’s pajamas, winter hats, mittens, laundry soap, haircuts, and various hygiene items until supplies runs out.
Community members will also have the opportunity to eat a hot meal at Project Connect.
Brugger said the best part of Project Connect is to be able to see the different service organizations working together to help people who are moving toward self-sufficiency.
“I’m very pleased with how the community comes together to focus all our attention on people who are struggling to make ends meet,” he said.