I05-08-13-homeless-connect.gifn Cumberland County there are more than 600 chronic homeless people and several agencies have planned to do something about it. The Cumberland County Continuum of Care, Cumberland County and City of Fayetteville will host Project Homeless Connect 2013 on May 16 at the Smith Recreation Center from 7:30 am until 1:30 p.m.

“Project Homeless Connect 2013 came from the initiative of the 10-year plan to end homelessness back in 2009,” said Adolph Thomas, community relations specialist of The City of Fayetteville’s Community Development Department. “The 10-year planning committee made it an obligation to conduct a Project Homeless Connect each year and they passed the plan on to The Cumberland County Continuum of Care.”

One way to help is to donate items that will be given to the attendees. The following items are needed: socks, chapstick, sunblock, paper cups, underwear, bug repellent, sleeping bags, wet wipes, toilet paper, hand sanitizer, ponchos, backpacks, tote bags, foot powder and gallon Ziploc bags. “We put out a letter to schools, churches and human-service agencies to see if they can make this their project and donate these items,” said Thomas.

“Our goal is to see 300 of the 600 individuals walk through the door,” said Thomas. “The agencies on hand are tasked to provide immediate services for these individuals or families for that day.” Thomas added that if housing is an issue for a particular family or individual the agency will take the family and help them to find housing on that same day.

Various agencies will be on site for the event, including the Metropolitan Housing Authority, Urban Ministry, medical professionals, homeless-shelter providers, Salvation Army, Better Health, Cumberland Interfaith Hospitality Network, Cape Fear Regional Bureau for Community Action, Inc. and others. Breakfast will be provided by the Epicenter Church, lunch by the Kingdom Impact Global Ministries and desserts and refreshments by the Salvation Army. The city stage will be set up for entertainment from the 71st High School, Reid Ross, and E.E. Smith’s bands and other groups.

FAST transit will provide free transportation to the event for any homeless person

“Cumberland County has never had its own homeless foundation,” said Thomas. “This is the first year that we have a homeless foundation at the Cumberland Community Foundation, where the average person can donate money from their computer to the Cumberland County homeless.” Thomas added that this is going to be a major campaign for the foundation and the monies will be used to help the shelters and organizations provide quick care for the homeless.

Donations may be delivered to the Cumberland County Community Development Department at 707 Executive Place by May 3. Checks can be made out to Cumberland Community Foundation Inc. Project Homeless Connect, and mailed to 308 Green Street, PO Box 2345, Fayetteville, NC 28302. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. The website for monetary donations is www.cumberlandcf.org.

For more information and to donate call 323-6112.

Photo: There are more than 600 chronic homeless people in Cumberland County. Project Homeless Connect, on May 16, brings together several agencies to help them connect with resources and services aimed at ending homelessness.

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