A free one-day event next month will connect area residents to needed information and a wide array of the services available to them in the community.

The Livingston County Homeless Continuum of Care Committee is hosting the 11th annual Community Connect event at Howell’s Parker Middle School on Saturday, February 3rd. The event is open to anyone in the community, although the goal is typically to try to connect with low income families.

This year’s event will connect individuals and families to free information on employment and housing services, benefits information, health screenings, personal care items and laundry detergent, clothing and haircuts. Community Collaborative Planner Anne Rennie describes Community Connect as a one stop shop and pampered day for people in need. She says one side of the school is typically set up with resources and tables while the other is more giveaway and service focused in classrooms. Some include dental, vision, hearing and health screenings; flu shots, haircuts, massages, employment services, basic needs and food services, housing and utility programs.

Rennie tells WHMI the event is a well-oiled machine thanks to the hard work of the committee and over 400 volunteers who make it possible. She says some serve as guides and will sit down with a family to discuss needs and then help them navigate the different lines and resources. The event typically brings out around 1,000 people. A free breakfast, lunch and snacks are provided through local churches as well as fun activities for kids during the event.

There is no registration or criteria to attend and the event is open to all. More information about the 11th annual Community Connect is available in the events section or by contacting Rennie via email at arennie@CMHLIV.ORG. (JM)