Project Connect is a one-day, one-stop shop service event to provide needed community services for the under-served, under-resourced adults and those most in need in the area. It is conducted by local businesses, churches, social service agencies, Civic organizations and volunteers who have a caring compassionate view of helping people and offer a hand-up not a hand-out.
The day is intended to be a “whole person care” one-stop-shop addressing access to care in a variety of areas and addresses many of the social determinants of health and community care. It provides systemic intervention to care and coverage and brings together groups in all areas of the Pillars of Poverty. It also allows self-empowerment and self-determination by breaking down all barriers to access and making care and resources as convenient as is possible. We work together and serve many people on this day! Project Connect is designed to accomplish several objectives:
–to unite community leaders to organize and plan the event 8 to 10 weeks in advance, recruit service providers and volunteers to conduct the event and take the lead on poverty-related issues in their community.
–to raise awareness of poverty-related issues and the impact on their community.
–to help Agencies and groups learn to work together better in meeting community needs.
–to meet many needs of people uninsured, under insured or under served in the community.
–to facilitate the building of relationships and people in need with caring community individuals.
–to allow members of the community to care for those in need. From a local pastor who has participated in 2 events, “Our church was glad to help, and have the opportunity to exercise our ministry mind-set. Events like this not only open our eyes but help us BE and DO Matthew 10:42, as well as count our blessings! “. . . and if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward.”
Services at Project Connect are ALL FREE and include health screenings, dental care, chiropractic corrections, haircuts, birth certificates, marriage licenses/death certificates for Medicare or Medicaid, drivers licenses, massages, photographs, photo IDs from DMV, behavioral health/addiction intervention, a resume and practice job interview, food pantry applications and access, and MUCH MORE—There will be more than 60 service providers present! It will also include a free lunch and drinks for all involved—Guests, Service Providers and Volunteers. Everything is free at this event! The one-day Project Connect is generally held from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm on either a Friday or Saturday. Saturdays are much more conducive for larger numbers of Volunteers to be available. It is a complete, other-oriented single day focused on our Guests and meeting their needs.
How does the Event work?
We will have ALL aspects of the one-day, one-stop-shop Project Connect ready to go when the doors open at 9:00 am on the morning of the event. Service Providers and Volunteers should arrive and be ready to go between 7:15 and 8:15 am but be ready to go BY 8:30 am for the training—and be assigned a job! You will sign in, receive a t-shirt and will be asked to put on a nametag with their first name only! Volunteers will be assigned a duty/job at that time OR be asked to escort Guests. The majority of our Volunteers will be Guides to escort Guests through the event. The training starts at 8:30 am. When our Guests arrive, they will be asked to sign-in and sign the Registration and Release Form (but no screening or qualification will take place—everyone will be served). We do have them fill out an Entrance Survey just to help us understand their needs and expectations. No-one will be turned away. In addition, they will be matched with a Guide that will show them the days’ map (aka “Passport of Services”) and stay with them the entire time they are with.
Some of the services we expect to have available at these Events include (but NOT limited to):
o Birth and Death Certificates
o ID/Driver’s License (3-week Vouchers)
o Various Assessments and Screenings
o Social Security Replacement Card Applications
o Housing and Utility Assistance
o Food Stamps and TANF
o Dental Screening and Extractions
o Multiple Veteran’s Services
o Free Haircuts
o Health Insurance Counseling
o 340B and Prescription Help
o FREE Snacks and Lunch!
o Eye Care and Vision Services
o Medicare and Medicaid Assistance
o Chiropractic Corrections
o FREE Items, Blankets, etc.
o Various Prevention Resources
o Flu Shots, Vaccines (3-week Vouchers)
o Health Risk Assessments
o Blood Sugar/A1c Checks
o Eating Education
o Blood Pressure
o STD Testing
o Pregnancy Tests
o Diet Counseling
o Speech & Hearing Testing
o Free Smoke Detectors
o Life Coaching, Legal Advice, Mental Health and other Support Services
o Comfort Animals (Dogs/Horses)
o MANY MANY MANY other products and services for our Guests and Neighbors in need.
While our Guests/Neighbors will receive most services that day, we will give vouchers for some services as the corresponding Agencies are not always open one Saturdays. For example, we will issue vouchers good for a minimum of two weeks (some up to 30 days) for things such as Birth Certificates, Drivers Licenses and other DMV products and services.
This event breaks many cycles and barriers to services for the most vulnerable among us. It addresses single place-based services and brings uninsured and underinsured to a one place to receive multiple aspects of help. It also brings Medicaid and Medicare folks together to receive guidance and assistance and brings all participants in need of medical and dental services to access primary care providers as well as social assistance of ALL types! It breaks the cycle of access to care in many areas.
We are currently developing a manual helping ANY group with access to a large room or gymnasium to hold a event be empowered to have a one-day Project Connect. For a DRAFT copy of the manual in development, please e-mail us. We are happy to provide the written documents electronically, the signs, advice, direction and many other things to assure your event is a success! There is NO NEED to reinvent the wheel!