Some vendors offer services for the homeless.

Some vendors offer services for the homeless.

Project Homeless Connect sees largest turn out yet

The fourth annual Project Homeless Connect was held Thursday, January 29th from 10:00am – 3:00pm at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex and according to the event organizers had the greatest participation since the events inception. “There were over 60 confirmed participants with the estimated number to be around 80-100, which equates to the largest attended Project Homeless Connect yet,” reported Jodi Stuart, president of the Soldotna Rotary Club. “There were approximately 30 vendors and over 100 volunteers involved.” The event is a coalition of groups addressing homelessness on the Peninsula including The Leeshore Center, KPC, Bishops Attic and the Kenaitze Indian Tribe in addition to the 30 some service vendors. The Kenaitze Indian Tribe this year offered services, information and backpacks with sleeping bags. Free lunch was provided along with practical services such as haircuts, massages and healing touch. “The reason we do this is to not only provide practical services like resume writing to those in need, but to get some facts and numbers on the homeless issue. It’s difficult here because there are so many variables to it,” said Lisa Roberts, United Way executive director and chair for this year’s Project Homeless Connect. According to Roberts since 2012 chronic homelessness on the Peninsula has increased 20%. “It tends to be less visible here but the need is here and we’re doing our best to address it with practical help to meet the need. There is a specific phone number directly for Project Homeless Connect that anyone can call at any time and that number is 907- 953-1498,” said Roberts. “Thanks to all the volunteers and vendors that participated. Anyone interested in being involved in next year’s event can call 283–9500 or email kpuw@ptialaska.net.

Lisa Roberts of United Way chaired this year's Homeless Connect.

Lisa Roberts of United Way chaired this year’s Homeless Connect.

Kenaitze Indian Tribe offered services & backpacks with sleeping bags at Project Homeless Connect.

Kenaitze Indian Tribe offered services & backpacks with sleeping bags at Project Homeless Connect.

Largest turn out ever for Project Homeless Connect.

Largest turn out ever for Project Homeless Connect.

Rose Bezilla offered free massages again this year at Project Homeless Connect.

Rose Bezilla offered free massages again this year at Project Homeless Connect.

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