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UNITED WAY OF CENTRAL MARYLAND’S FIFTH ANNUAL PROJECT HOMELESS CONNECT ASSISTED 2,100 BALTIMORE AREA FAMILIES AND INDIVIDUALS EXPERIENCING OR AT RISK OF HOMELESSNESS

This year’s event featured addition of second full day of dental services to one of the largest resource fairs in the country for those facing homelessness

BALTIMORE (October 3, 2016) – United Way of Central Maryland grew its fifth annual Project Homeless Connect this year, creating a two-day event that featured one full day dedicated to dental services provided through a partnership with The University of Maryland School of Dentistry’s Mission of Mercy dental clinic. Held Thursday, Sept. 29 and Friday, Sept. 30, United Way gathered more than 130 local organizations and more than 2,000 community volunteers over the two-day event to aid those experiencing or at-risk of homelessness in Baltimore City and the surrounding area. United Way’s Project Homeless Connect is one of the largest homeless resource fairs in the country.

Each of the 2,000 volunteers was matched one-on-one with an adult or family experiencing or at-risk of homelessness and guided them to the services they needed the most. This year’s 65-chair Mission of Mercy dental clinic offered cleanings, fillings and extractions to 701 patients over the course of the event. In addition to the dental clinic, more than 130 services were available the second day of the event, ranging from housing information and employment programs to haircuts, legal services, and identification cards. Vision screenings and eyeglass fittings were also provided to 450 individuals during the event. And, new to the event this year, an expungement clinic guided individuals through the complicated legal process to clear their criminal records of minor offenses that make it difficult to gain employment or housing.

“The dental service was great, as was the overall event! I really appreciated the free dental services, as I needed it at the time. The combination of many services and resources at Project Homeless Connect made it easy to get a hold of numerous resources all at once. My three children and I are currently doing well, and I have stable employment,” said Angel, a participant in United Way’s 2016 Project Homeless Connect event.

United Way of Central Maryland’s event is one of the largest in the country. Replicated in more than 300 cities, Project Homeless Connect is a citywide resource fair that provides those experiencing or at-risk for homelessness the opportunity to receive on-the-spot services all in one place. The event supports United Way’s work to empower area families to become self-sufficient by focusing on the building blocks of a better life: education, employment, housing and health.

“Project Homeless Connect is a direct result of the work that can be done when individuals and communities come together,” said Mark Furst, president and CEO of United Way of Central Maryland. “The outpouring of support we received from organizations and volunteers who wanted to help those experiencing homelessness get the services they need to become successful is nothing short of inspirational. What began as just another event has become a movement in Baltimore – and throughout central Maryland – because of the remarkable people who have been involved in this process.”

At last year’s Project Homeless Connect, 2,000 people experiencing homelessness or poverty received services. In 2013, United Way Worldwide declared Baltimore’s Project Homeless Connect the national best practice model for direct homeless service events. United Way of Central Maryland and the Baltimore City Mayor’s Office of Human Services brought the Project Homeless Connect model to Baltimore in August of 2012.

This year’s event was made possible thanks to the generous support of Exelon, City of Baltimore, and The Journey Home.

To learn more about this year’s Project Homeless Connect, please visit www.uwcm.org/phc.

United Way of Central Maryland’s Fifth Annual Project Homeless Connect Assisted 2,100 Baltimore Area Families and Individuals Experiencing or At Risk of Homelessness