From United Way of Central Maryland:
On Thursday, United Way of Central Maryland hosted the first-ever Project Homeless Connect in Harford County. The event served more than 400 area families and individuals facing homelessness, providing services from haircuts, dental exams and extractions, to eye exams, identification cards, and more. While this was the first event of its kind in Harford County, United Way hosts a similar event annually in Baltimore City, which served 2,000 individuals and families in September 2015, making the event one of the largest in the country for the last four years.
“The Harford County event could not have come at a better time. While cold weather and blizzard conditions affect all of us, the impact is much more profound on those experiencing the hardships of experiencing or being at-risk of homelessness,” said Mark Furst, CEO, United Way of Central Maryland. “Along with the strong support of the Harford County Government, we are so grateful for the dedication and generosity of the volunteers and service providers who gave their time and resources to help our neighbors in need.”
During yesterday’s event, 200 volunteers were matched with participants for a one-on-one experience, helping to guide them as they accessed the more than 50 on-the-spot critical services available at the one-day resource fair. Early results have reported that onsite hair stylists gave 90 haircuts and dentists performed over 40 dental extractions with many more scheduled following the event, pro bono.
“Project Homeless Connect Harford County brought to light the need that exists in our community,” said Paige Boyle, director of marketing and communications for Boyle Buick GMC and chair of United Way’s Harford County Partnership Board. “To be able to see so many individuals and families with smiles on their faces as they received a haircut for the first time in months, or put on a new pair of eyeglasses, gave all involved a great sense of pride for the work we’re doing to change the odds right here in our community.”
Replicated in more than 300 cities, Project Homeless Connect is a resource fair that provides those experiencing or at-risk of homelessness on-the-spot services all in one place. United Way of Central Maryland’s Project Homeless Connect Harford County was made possible thanks to generous partnerships with the Harford County Government, Healthy Harford and Jones Junction.
To learn more about United Way of Central Maryland and how to help change the odds, please visit www.uwcm.org.