Henry Smith checks out his fresh haircut courtesy of Gail Kennedy during the 2020 Project Homeless Connect event at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska on Jan. 29, 2020. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

Henry Smith checks out his fresh haircut courtesy of Gail Kennedy during the 2020 Project Homeless Connect event at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska on Jan. 29, 2020. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

Project Homeless Connect to provide services Tuesday to combat housing insecurity

Vision screenings, job services, rental assistance applications, social services, health care, food, veterans services, immunizations, child care are among services offered

Project Homeless Connect returns to the Kenai Peninsula on Tuesday for its 12th year, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Leslie Rohr, executive director of Love INC, called the event a “one-day, one-stop shop” with a variety of services available for free to benefit individuals experiencing housing insecurity.

“Probably the most popular stop along the way are haircuts,” she said Tuesday. “Barbers and hair stylists from around the peninsula have volunteered their time to come in that day and do free haircuts.”

A long list of services will be provided, including vision screenings, job services, rental assistance applications, social services, health care, food, veterans services, immunizations, child care and plenty more.

These services are provided by a list of partners including the Alaska Human Rights Commission, the Municipal League, the Kenai Lions Club, Cook Inlet Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, Frontier Community Services, the Department of Motor Vehicles, Kenai Peninsula Animal Lovers, Alaska Housing, Kenaitze Indian Tribe, the Veterans Administration, Independent Living Center, the Job Center, the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank and more.

A full list of vendors provided by Rohr lists 37 services available to attendees.

“We have a wide variety,” Rohr said.

Free transportation to the event will also be provided, with pickups at the Kenai Job Center and Soldotna Public Library. First pickups are at 8:45 a.m., running until 2:45 p.m. Assistance is also available for people who live farther away, by calling 907-420-4514.

“What we hope to do is to reach as many of those people who are either unsheltered or living in substandard housing so that we can get them into the pipeline for services and get them into safe sustainable housing,” Rohr said. “We continue to do this because we continue to contact new people.”

Rohr said that last year, the 11th annual, 43% of attendees were new to the event.

On Tuesday, Rohr said that all of their calls for volunteers and donations had been answered, but that planning begins in August for 2024’s event, if people are interested in getting involved.

Similar Project Homeless Connect events will be held in Homer and Seward next week. Homer’s, called Community Resource Connect, will also be held on Tuesday, at both the South Peninsula Recreation Center and the Anchor Point Food Pantry. Seward’s, Seward Cares: A Project Homeless Connect Event, will be held Wednesday in the AVTEC Gym. For more information about any of these events, including Soldotna’s, visit kenaipeninsulahomeless.org.

Reach reporter Jake Dye at jacob.dye@peninsulaclarion.com.

Services provided at Project Homeless Connect 2023 in Soldotna

Haircuts by SinShearly

Pregnancy and sexually transmitted infection resources by ABC Life Choices

Healthcare by Ladies First and South Central Alliance For Resilient Families

Aging and disability resources by Independent Living Center

Change 4 the Kenai

Employment services by Peninsula Job Center

Food and United States Department of Agriculture programs by Kenai Peninsula Food Bank

Legal services by 49th State Law

Domestic violence shelter by Lee Shore Center

Health information by Peninsula Community Health Services

Vocational rehabilitation by Alaska Division of Vocational Rehabilitation

Civil rights by Alaska State Commission for Human Rights

Shelter info by Nikiski Shelter of Hope

LifeLine phones by GCI

Vision screening by Kenai Lion’s Club

Food stamps by Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

Hand massages by Smalley Massage

Alcohol and drug treatment by Cook Inlet Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse

Veterans Services by Kenai Veterans Service and the Veterans Administration

Social services and tobacco quit kits by Kenaitze Indian Tribe

Student resources by Kenai Peninsula Borough School District’s Students in Transition

Case management information by Kenai Peninsula Reentry Coalition

Recovery and sober living information by Freedom House

Resource center by Love INC

Voucher program by Alaska Housing Finance Corporation

Low income support programs by Alaska Division of Public Assistance

Pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease testing and referral by Kachemak Bay Family Planning Clinic

Municipal League

License, identification and vehicle registration by Alaska Division of Motor Vehicles

Dog food and rescue info by Kenai Peninsula Animal Lovers

Public transportation by Central Area Rural Transit System

Job service by Frontier Community Services

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