United Way of Central Maryland’s Project Homeless Connect Serves Hundreds in its Fifth Year
Event vendors provided dental, vision, and other critical services to Harford County’s underserved population.
Bel Air, MD (January 24, 2020) – Yesterday, almost 500 men, women and children experiencing or at-risk of homelessness in Harford County were helped back on the path to a stable life at United Way of Central Maryland’s fifth annual Project Homeless Connect (PHC). Replicated in more than 300 cities, PHC is a resource fair that provides those experiencing or at-risk of homelessness on-the-spot services all in one place. More than 55 local organizations and over 450 area volunteers came together to ensure attendees received vital healthcare and other critical services.
Volunteers at Thursday’s Harford County PHC event were matched one-on-one with an adult, couple or family, guiding them to the services that they need most. More than 55 critical services were available at no charge during the event, including an on-site dental clinic provided by the Maryland State Dental Association and Fallston Family Dentistry that offered cleanings, fillings and extractions to 184 patients over the course of the day. In addition to the dental clinic, there was an onsite vision clinic provided in partnership with Advanced Eye Care, MyEyeDr., Seidenberg Protzko Eye Associates, and the Bel Air Lions Club that completed 142 eye exams, while 130 pairs of eyeglasses were prescribed to individuals. On-the-spot services—ranging from housing information and employment programs to haircuts, legal services and more—were also available.
“One of the hardest parts about being homeless is not being able to access services that will enable you to live a stable life,” said Franklyn Baker, president and CEO of United Way of Central Maryland. “This is why we try to eliminate this barrier by bringing these critical services to these individuals in a one-stop-shop. Over the past few years, the majority of participants of Project Homeless Connect have said that their favorite part was sharing the day with their guide. Volunteers have the chance to witness how difficult it is to live in poverty, and many become inspired to help the community in other ways. We are extremely thankful for the volunteers and service providers who generously donated their talents to help our community members get back on the path to their best lives.”
This year’s United Way of Central Maryland PHC event in Harford County was made possible thanks to generous partnerships with DentalQuest, Harford County Government, Harford Community College Harford Mutual, Healthy Harford/Healthy Cecil, Jones Junction, Maryland Office of Oral Health, Maryland State Dental Association, NVS Merle Norman, Pat’s Pizzeria and Wells Fargo Advisors. The Dresher Foundation also provided a $25,000 grant to support PHC, making it possible to purchase more equipment and provide services to more guests. An additional $30,000 grant from the Dresher Foundation will support the Harford Dentures Clinic, taking place on August 29.
To learn more about this year’s PHC, please visit https://uwcmold.wpengine.com/family-stability-programs/project-homeless-connect/.
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United Way of Central Maryland makes our communities stronger. We work with families and individuals to keep them in their homes and out of shelters, with kids who need help in school, and with people who need healthy food and jobs that pay the bills. We achieve all this with the help of our partners: volunteers, donors, other nonprofits and area businesses who share our passion for making lives and neighborhoods stable and healthier.