Several county services assisted the homeless at Lincoln City’s Project Homeless Connect 2019 Thursday morning at the Lincoln City Resource Center & Emergency Warming Shelter.
Services such as a dental van, Oregon Health Plan enrollment, Lincoln County Mental Health, bus tickets and hot meals were available to members of the homeless community who walked through the door.
Project Homeless Connect (PHC) is an international resource fair held at the end of January to assist the homeless population with job assistance, clothing, haircuts, hygiene, dental care and a variety of social service programs, including legal aid and the Point In Time Count, which gives an accurate census of the homeless population. PHC has been adopted by more than 220 communities in the United States, Canada and Australia.
Lincoln City’s PHC is organized by Lincoln City Resource Center & Emergency Warming Shelter Director Amanda Suzanne Cherryholmes, who spoke about her innovative approach to a program already recognized by the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness as a process that can move people quickly toward housing stability.
“I went to the Newport PHC last year and thought, we do most of these things, we need one in Lincoln City to get additional services to the people in need that we can’t provide” Cherryholmes said. “We are the first county doing PHC as themed months.”
According to Cherryholmes, with themed months, the focus on PHC can be year-round rather than just the month of January.
Cherryholmes’ year-long plan:
January – Health & Wellness
February – Employment & Haircuts
March – Pets
April – Service Providers & Haircuts
May – Family Services
June – Addiction & Haircuts
July – Shelters
August – Health, Wellness & Haircuts
September – Employment
October – Service Providers & Haircuts
November – Veterans Services
December – Addiction & Haircuts
Lincoln City Resource Center also offers showers and laundry to the homeless above and beyond what PHC offers nationally.
The Lincoln City Resource Center has proven itself a capable homeless service provider, finding permanent housing for a significant number of its clients by instituting a process that tailors solutions to individuals utilizing a 68-question demographic form and obtaining birth certificates, Identification and Social Security cards.
The Resource Center is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m Monday through Friday.
The Warming Shelter is open mid-November to mid-February when it is below 40 degrees, and extends into March, if weather permits.