Lend a helping hand when you can

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Last Friday, hundreds of people gathered at the Osage Centre for Project Homeless Connect.

It was the sixth year that volunteers from the community and various organizations came together to help those who are less fortunate.

Clothing, haircuts, housing assistance, groceries, hygiene products, identification, immunization and other medical services were provided to those who needed it.

"There are a lot of people who are just close to homelessness. Someone living paycheck to paycheck; they're living in places where rent is week-to-week," Jessica Hill, executive director of Safe House for Women, said.

Hill told Southeast Missourian reporter Bridget Brown that some aren't homeless, and while they may be employed, illness or a missed paycheck for any reason could lead down a difficult road.

"So we're just trying to help everybody move to a place of sustainability and self sufficiency," Hill said.

The event continues to evolve and grow. Last year, rapid HIV testing was made available at the event, and this year breast exams were available and vouchers for free mammograms were given if any lumps were found.

Attendee Gary Barlow may have said it best: "It takes a bunch of individuals to make a community, but if we take care of individual needs, the community comes together."

Helping others helps us all. We commend the volunteers who took part in this event for showing compassion to those who need it, an act that hopefully will better their lives and better our community.

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