On Tuesday, Jan. 28, the Reno Events Center will transform into a hub where dozens of local service providers can help people who are facing homelessness, or who are homeless, find medical care, social services, housing aid, quality of life care and much more.
Held annually, Project Homeless and Family Connect brings those experiencing or facing homelessness together with free services. This effective, organized effort to coordinate services is part of a nationwide best practice and is held in more than 200 communities around the world each year.
The event, organized by Catholic Charities of Northern Nevada, is expected to draw up to 100 service providers and more than 1,000 men, women, and children in need. It supports the organization's goal to move individuals and families out of poverty and toward sustainable living.
"Many individuals or families who are either facing or experiencing homelessness need a connection to social services and programs that can help," said Marie Baxter, CEO, Catholic Charities of Northern Nevada. "Project Homeless and Family Connect introduces services to people so that they can get the help they need to turn their lives around."
The event will be held from 8 a.m. to noon on Jan. 28 at the Reno Events Center at 400 North Center Street. Services available will include medical care, social services, mental health services, veterans services, housing information, and quality of life services such as haircuts, flu shots, and veterinary services for pets.
Providers in attendance will include the Nevada Health Centers Mammovan, Community Health, and the Washoe County Health District. Those who need additional care will have follow-up appointments after the event. Sysco foods will serve a full hot breakfast. Several businesses/organizations have stepped up to help sponsor Project Homeless Connect, including Renown, Health Plan of Nevada, NV Energy, Reno Events Center, Peppermill, Sysco, and Big Reno Coat Drive.
Vendors, Volunteers and Hairstylists Needed for Project Homeless and Family Connect
To help make 2020 Project Homeless and Family Connect a success, Catholic Charities of Northern Nevada is looking for community members and organizations to be part of the event.
Organizations and businesses that provide the following services are invited to attend:
- Disability services
- Domestic violence services
- Faith-based organizations
- Family services
- Housing resources
- Job resources
- Legal services
- Lifeline assistance program
- Medical/dental services
- Teen services
- Veteran's support services
To sign up, click our business agency sign-up page.
Volunteers help direct people to services, hand out giveaways, monitor doors, and ensure that the event is beneficial to all involved. To volunteer as an individual or with a group, visit our volunteer sign-up page.
Another sought after service at the event is haircuts, provided by volunteer stylists. If you are a licensed hairstylist who would like to donate your time and talent at this event, please register on our volunteeer stylist page.
From Hopelessness to Help to Hope
Project Homeless and Family Connect is just one of the ways that Catholic Charities of Northern Nevada helps people of all cultures and beliefs rise out of poverty and overcome the barriers to self-sufficiency.
In 2019, the organization helped a 59-year-old woman overcome barriers and find hope. Margie (not her real name) experienced a great deal of hardship before being referred to Catholic Charities. After losing her disability and needing to reinstate her Medicare, Margie needed help. Catholic Charities stepped in to help her receive the services she needed and paid her rent and utilities. This made all the difference, Margie wrote in a message to the organization:
"I just wanted to tell you how grateful I am for giving me rental assistance and paying my past-due power bill. Words have not been invented to truly express my gratitude. You literally saved my life because I had run out of hope when I was referred to you. My psychiatrist wanted to admit me to the hospital because she was fearful I would make another suicide attempt, and her concerns were justified because that was exactly where my mind had been for several days. You threw me a lifeline without knowing how desperately I needed your help. You dealt with me by showing compassion and empathy, and never once made me feel unworthy of your vital assistance. Saying thank you doesn't feel like enough.
As soon as I have some stability in my own life, I will actively demonstrate my gratitude by volunteering for Catholic Charities. I want to be part of an organization that has such a caring staff. I think you are amazing.”
Margie is one of the about 40,000 people Catholic Charities helps each month in northern Nevada. To learn more about Catholic Charities and how you can get involved, visit ccsnn.org.