Clothing and hygiene supplies, employment and housing information, haircuts, veterans services, dental, vision and healthcare screenings and other support services are available free of charge during the Project Community Connect & Veterans Stand Down.

Open to all veterans, the homeless and other at-risk individuals in the community, the event helps connect people with resources and provides on-the-spot services. Although it’s coordinated by the Community Action Program of East Central Oregon, case manager Susie Stuvland said the event is made possible through all the partner agencies that come together to connect people to services. It’s the seventh event of its type, the second time in Hermiston.

“In today’s world, it’s good to link arms and work together,” Stuvland said.

Project Community Connect is Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Oregon National Guard Armory, 900 S.E. Columbia Drive, Hermiston. Fiesta Foods is catering a delicious hot meal, Stuvland said, which is provided to all participants and volunteers. In addition, free transportation is available.

Area residents can take Kayak Public Transit to the Columbia Drive stop in Hermiston. People can check schedules for the Hermiston Hopper and Walla Walla Whistler at www.ctuir.org/tribal-services/planning/kayak-public-transit. For questions, the dispatch line is open Monday through Fridays from 4 a.m. to 6 p.m. Other Morrow County residents outside of Irrigon can obtain transportation information by calling Anita Pranger at 855-644-4560.

Stuvland said it’s important to get people connected to available services. Positive things can begin to happen in people’s lives when they have access to resources, she said.

“We feel very strongly that we provide a hand up and not a hand out,” Stuvland said.

Volunteers are still needed for the event. Opportunities include working at the registration table, guiding participants to specific services and the exit station to hand out toiletries, clothing and other items.

For more information about Project Community Connect & Veterans Stand Down, call Glenda McDaniel or Susie Stuvland at 541-276-1926.

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

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