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Did you know that one in seven people in Larimer County are living in poverty? Between 2007 and 2011 the number if individuals in poverty increased 1.5% and the number of families living in poverty increased by 1.4%. Additionally, an estimated 1,372 children in Larimer County schools were identified as being homeless during the 2011-2012 school year, which was a 10% increase over the previous school year.*
While living and poverty and being homeless are not always one in the same, they do experience similar difficulties with accessing resources and and finding the help they need. The good news is that the 5th annual Project Homeless Connect is not just for people who are homeless. The services are also available to people who are at risk of being homeless or in other words: living in poverty.
The Project Homeless Connect is a one-day, one-stop event that provides a broad range of FREE services to individuals or families experiencing homelessness or are at risk of becoming homeless. This year's Homeless Connect will be held on Friday, April 11, 2014 from 8 am to 12 pm at the Northside Aztlan Community Center at 112 Willow Street, Fort Collins. A BBQ lunch will be provided from 11:30 am to 1 pm.
Free services include: bilingual advocates, basic car inspection, bike repair, children's books, counseling services, self-sufficiency programs, bus passes, family portraits, children'ts activities, government services, eye exams, pet services/food, medical screenings, housing information, haircuts, veteran services, employment specialists, breakfast and lunch, ID/legal services, and Homeless Gear. Some services may require valid identification. Please bring any proof of identification you may have, such as a photo ID, and/or 2 pieces of mail with the same address. There will be a Kids Zone available for free childcare during the event and outdoor pet care will be offered.
Participating service agencies include: Catholic Charities, Cheyenne VA Medical Center, Colorado ID Project, Colorado Legal Services, Crossroads Safehouse, Disabled Resources Services, Food Bank for Larimer County, Fort Collins Housing Authority, Fort Collins Hand-Up Cooperative, Homeless Gear, Larimer County Child Support Unit, Larimer County Youth Conservation Corp., Larimer County Department of Human Services, Larimer County Workforce Center,Navigators, Neighbor to Neighbor, Norhtern Colorado AIDS Project, Pets Forever, Poudre School District, Prevent Unwanted Pets, Project Self-Sufficiency, Salud Family Health Center, Salvation Army, Sexual Assault Victim Advocate (SAVA) Center, Sister Mary Alice Murphy Center for Hope, and The Matthews House.
The Project Homeless Connect is presented by Bohemian Foundation, Colorado State University, Homeward 2020 and United Way of Larimer County. Business Partners include Crankenstein, Harper Point, Food for Thought Catering, Hog Wild BBQ, Starbucks, Eye Center of Northern Colorado, Dellenbach Motors, Green Ride, Cheeks, Book Trust, Target, and Color Pro.
For more information dial 2-1-1 (970-407-7066) or visit www.homeward2020.org.
* Data comes from the U.S. Census Bureau at www.census.gov/acs/www and the Colorado Department of Education at www.cde.state.co.us/dropoutprevention/homeless_index
Copyright 2015 United Way of Larimer County