NORFOLK, Nebraska (KCAU)– Over the past several years Project Homeless have continued to see more and more people walk through their door and officials said that’s a good sign.
“We noticed a trend that our homeless numbers in our part of the state were continuing to rise, so we wanted to be able to put something together to be able to try to lower those numbers,” said Lacy Kines, coordinator for Project Homeless Connect Norfolk.
Each year roughly 600 people attend Project Homeless all in need of some form of assistance.
“Each guest that comes through is paired with a navigator, that’s a trained volunteer, and they’re gonna help get them from service to service. From medical, dental, vision, housing, any service that somebody has problems accessing on a regular basis,” said Kines.
“It’s just a brief check-up. we will take vital signs at the beginning and if they have a high blood pressure then they’ll see the provider, if they have a high A1C they’ll see the provider, or if they just have any concerns that they wanna address today we will do that in the rig,” said Jackie Kern, with Midtown Health Center.
People also get to take a much-needed rest and enjoy a hot meal. Lacy Kines, the coordinator for Project Homeless Connect Norfolk said the event hopes to better their attendees’ lives.
“Before they leave Project Homeless Connect, they’re gonna leave with a plan of action. what are they gonna do after they leave the project, follow up appointments, transportation to get to those appointments, so they continue on the path of moving forward,” said Kines.
Over the almost decade, Project Homeless has helped thousands of people in their time of need. however, Kines says.
“Our numbers continue to increase year after year, which as providers, doesn’t tell us that the problem is getting worse. What that tells us is that the word in the education is getting out there on all those services that are available to people, and so people are coming forward wanting to get access to those services,” said Kines.
Jackie Kern, with Midtown Health Center, has helped at this event for roughly 6 years, Kern says it’s a blessing to be a part of the event.
“It’s very humbling, I think. I’m a nurse, so I feel like it just goes hand in hand with what i signed up to do to be a nurse,” said Kern
Project Homeless has more than a hundred volunteers to help with the event and Kines says she is thankful for the community’s support.