Project Homeless Connect

Oct 12, 2014

KENNETT – Perhaps the most crowded parking lot Friday was found at the American Legion Building near First Street and the South Bypass.

More than 150 volunteers were on hand at scores of tables and booths to provide services to needy, disabled and homeless people at Project Homeless Connect, said Kansas City’s Brian Vollenweider, Missouri Housing and Development Commission public information administrator.

“We expect better than 400 people to come through the doors,” Vollenweider told SEMO TIMES.

The information administrator said the event began “in the 2000s” in San Francisco.

“We’re here today to provide multiple services,” he said. “People can get haircuts, drivers licenses, DMV documentation, flu shots and services that are for them very often, very difficult to obtain.”

Lines were long throughout the massive building where people enjoyed fresh haircuts, a hot meal and medical services. Volunteers from Walmart, as well as local foundations like Kennett’s Leonard and Virgie’s Place, worked to provide both spiritual and material goods to the patrons.

“It’s all about ‘Yes!’ here today,” Vollenweider explained. “And it would not have happened without the support of Gov. Nixon’s Governor’s Commission to End Homelessness.

“You know, people forget sometimes how much something as simple as a haircut can mean to someone,” he added. “It speaks directly to a person’s self worth and dignity.Everyone here is feeling a little better about themselves. That’s always a good thing.”