Help offered to homeless in county

Help offered to homeless in county
By KEVIN BOWDEN
Staff Reporter
Obion County’s homeless are the focus of a new program designed to provide such necessities as clothing, food, financial aid and temporary housing.
Carey Counseling Center Inc. has been designated the local agency in charge of providing special assistance to the homeless in Obion County.
The agency provides homeless case management services through its offices on West Main Street in Union City. On March 9 from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., Carey Counseling will hold Project Homeless Connect at the Eddie Cox Senior Center at 622 South Depot St.
Project Homeless Connect is a national program designed to identify and help the homeless across America.
“The word homelessness may induce images of sleeping on park benches or digging through garbage,” Carey Counseling case manager Amanda Nichols said. “But have you ever thought about homelessness in Obion County?”
She explained the homeless include those who are without a place to stay for a day or two or those without a home for years.
“Anyone can become homeless,” Ms. Nichols said. “It’s unpredictable, with causes ranging from house fires to unstable lives.”
Her territory includes Obion, Lake and Weakley counties.
“Obion County individuals that are living on the streets, in a vehicle, shed, tent, camper, garage, shelter, abandoned building, in a home with not electricity or no water, with family or friends, or individuals at risk of losing their home can benefit from this event,” Ms. Nichols said.
The objective of the Project Homeless Connect is to provide the homeless access to services not readily available to them, according to Ms. Nichols. She said the event is also designed to raise community awareness and “to enhance the quality of life for the entire community.”
Carey Counseling operates a program called Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness (PATH), which is administered by the Center for Mental Health Services. The program is designed to provide a wide range of services to the homeless, including employment and housing assistance, access to health care and access to benefits.
As for the March 9 event, Ms. Nichols is looking for volunteers and donations of goods and services to help the homeless.
The local Project Homeless Connect is seeking agencies or individuals who can provide medical screenings, eye exams, foot care, housing placement, employment assistance, legal counsel, credit and banking counseling, haircuts as sell as bicycle or wheelchair repair.
Under the category of donations of goods, the local agency is looking for such items as canned goods, beverages, hygiene kits, jeans, T-shirts, jackets, ponchos, socks, shoes, first aid kits, blankets, tents, bicycles and survival kits.
“Project Homelessness Connect is centered on providing the homeless the tools for a better life,” Ms. Nichols said.
Those interested in helping at Project Homeless Connect can contact Ms. Nichols at 885-5060 or by email at amanda.nichols@bhillsc.org.
Staff Reporter Kevin Bowden may be contacted by email at kmbowden@ucmessenger.com.

Published in The Messenger 2.3.12

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