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It takes a village — connecting people to resources

Tammy Malgesini

East Oregonian

Published on September 18, 2017 4:11PM

Participants visit information booths during a past Project Community Connect and Veterans Stand Down. The upcoming Oct. 7 event is still seeking volunteers and vendors to participate in providing free on-the-spot services and connecting people to resources.

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Participants visit information booths during a past Project Community Connect and Veterans Stand Down. The upcoming Oct. 7 event is still seeking volunteers and vendors to participate in providing free on-the-spot services and connecting people to resources.

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A group of volunteers gather for a photo during a past Project Community Connect and Veterans Stand Down, which provides on-the-spot services and connects people to resources. Volunteers and vendors are still needed for the Oct. 7 event at the Pendleton Convention Center.

File photo

A group of volunteers gather for a photo during a past Project Community Connect and Veterans Stand Down, which provides on-the-spot services and connects people to resources. Volunteers and vendors are still needed for the Oct. 7 event at the Pendleton Convention Center.

Buy this photo

A coalition of different groups and individuals are seeking to connect people to resources and provide free on-the-spot services.

“We’re trying to battle homelessness,” said Susie Stuvland, a case manager with Community Action Program of East Central Oregon. “Homelessness is a bigger problem than we realize. As a community, we need to link arms and try to stop it.”

CAPECO, Home 4 Hope and veterans services in Umatilla and Morrow counties, Stuvland said, are reaching out to individuals and community partners to join them in presenting Project Community Connect & Umatilla/Morrow Veterans Stand Down. There is no fee for vendor space and there are many volunteer opportunities available.

A free yearly event, Project Community Connect alternates between venues in Pendleton and Hermiston. The upcoming event is Saturday, Oct. 7 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Pendleton Convention Center, 1601 Westgate. Free transportation is available through Kayak Public Transit. Also, Pendleton Animal Welfare Shelter (PAWS) volunteers will provide “doggie day care” onsite while participants are attending the event.

Stuvland said they want to provide a welcoming environment and eliminate barriers for people to attend. In addition, there will be many giveaways.

People who are homeless, at risk of becoming homeless and veterans are invited to enjoy a hot meal, learn about available resources and to receive such services as a haircut, health screenings, dental care, vision examinations, pet care, clothing and hygiene supplies. Professionals will be on hand to provide information about housing resources, employment opportunities, adult education services, legal help (including information specific to expungement), application assistance for the Oregon Health Plan and more.

Other supportive services represented will include Domestic Violence Services, Umatilla-Morrow Head Start, Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and the Department of Human Services. Also, veterans services representatives will be on hand to discuss specific resources available to veterans, such as employment, benefits information, healthcare and mental health services.

Those needing a ride to the event can obtain transportation information via www.ctuir.org/tribal-services/planning/kayak-public-transit.

For more information or to volunteer, call Stuvland at 800-752-1139 or 541-276-1926. Also, vendors may register at http://bit.ly/2sTyuZf. For questions, call Heidi at 541-966-0908.

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Contact Community Editor Tammy Malgesini at tmalgesini@eastoregonian.com or 541-564-4539



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