Peninsula residents browse the services available during the 2019 Project Homeless Connect at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Jan. 23, 2019. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

Peninsula residents browse the services available during the 2019 Project Homeless Connect at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Jan. 23, 2019. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

Get connected at Project Homeless Connect

The event will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex.

Those experiencing homelessness or who are at risk of becoming homeless will have an opportunity today to attend a one-stop shop for any of the services they might need.

From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex, Project Homeless Connect will host a number of vendors and service providers that deal with issues surrounding homelessness. The services offered range from medical care, housing and financial assistance to haircuts and massages. All services are provided free of charge. Two other Project Homeless Connect events will take place simultaneously on the Kenai Peninsula, in Homer and Seward.

Upon arrival at Soldotna’s event, visitors will be asked to go through a quick intake process that is done confidentially and on an individual basis by trained professionals. Data collected at the event is used as a way to garner funding for local programs from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The survey also helps Project Homeless Connect better determine a person’s highest needs so that they can be directed to the services they would most benefit from, Jodi Stuart, publicity chair for Project Homeless Connect, said.

“Our intent is to view you as a human being,” Stuart said.

After going through the intake process, each participant will be partnered with a volunteer who helps them locate the services they desire and provides companionship for the day.

A variety of soups and other hot meals will be available thanks to donations from local restaurants and the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank, and there will also be a food pantry on-site. Each participant will be given a comfort kit at the end, which will include hygiene products and nonperishable foods. Stuart said participants are welcome to stay as long as they would like and spend as much time with each service provider as they feel is necessary.

When participants are ready to leave, they will be asked to fill out an exit survey that includes questions regarding how they were treated throughout the day, what services they found helpful and what services they felt were lacking.

Alaska Cab will be providing free transportation to the event on request as well as via designated pickup and drop-off every hour on the hour at the following locations in Kenai and Soldotna:

Kenai — Walmart, Safeway, Country Foods IGA, the Job Center and the Food Bank

Soldotna — Fred Meyer, the Central Peninsula Hospital and Safeway

Call Alaska Cab at 907-262-1555. For more information about the event, call 907-420-4514.

Below is a list of service providers that will be present at Project Homeless Connect, as well as the services they will offer at the event:

Kenaitze Indian Tribe — Tobacco quit kits and and social services

AK Salon — Haircuts

Independent Living Center — Aging and disability resources

Kenai Public Health — Narcan Ed and Kits

Change 4 the Kenai — Drug rehabilitation services

Peninsula Job Center — Employment services

Kenai Peninsula Food Bank

Child Care Assistance Program

LeeShore Center — Domestic violence services

PCHS — Health information

Division of Vocational Rehab

Kenai Peninsula College

Kenai Peninsula Animal Lovers – Animal rescue

GCI — Lifeline phones

CARTS — Transportation

Peninsula Spay/Neuter Fund — Pet Services

SNAP — Food stamps

Smalley Massage — Hand Massages

CICADA — Alcohol/drug treatment

Kenai VA — Veteran services

Friendship Mission — Men’s Shelter information

Kenai Peninsula Reentry Coalition — Case management

Freedom House — Recovery/Sober living

Love, INC — Housing resources

Alaska Housing Finance Corporation — Housing vouchers

State of Alaska Public Assistance — Low income support programs

Ladies First — Health screening coverage

Kenai Peninsula Massage

Lions Club — Vision services

ABC Life Choices — Pregnancy/STD services

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