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Homeless count scheduled for this Thursday

People who are homeless or just need a hand can find the services they need at the annual Project Homeless Connect event in Sunnyside this coming Thursday, Jan. 30, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Sunnyside Community Center.

Lower Valley Crisis and Support Center is hosting this year’s event in Sunnyside and will be providing a warm luncheon meal. Attendees can meet with various service providers to learn about opportunities to receive assistance.

Donated necessities, including toiletry kits and clothing, will also be distributed at the event. Donations of those items from local residents and businesses will be welcomed at Lower Valley Crisis and Support Center.

The event is part of the Homeless Network of Yakima County’s 10th annual Point in Time and sixth annual Project Homeless Connect.

The Point in Time survey helps to determine the number of homeless individuals living in the county on a given day. The Homeless Network will review the results with the hope of identifying gaps in service that can be filled by local organizations.

Last year during the Point in Time survey, 899 homeless individuals were counted. The number represents a 29 percent decrease since 2006.

Project Homeless Connect aims to provide direct access to services such as health and dental care, vision and hearing screenings, haircuts, legal assistance, help with obtaining personal identification, hot meals and care packages of hygiene products and winter clothing, just to name a few. Last year more than 600 homeless persons attended Project Homeless Connect events across Yakima County.

Donations of hygiene products, blankets, jackets, socks, gloves, hats, scarves, sleeping bags, backpacks, diapers and wipes are welcome. Cash donations will also be accepted by the Homeless Network. Volunteers are also needed to provide support during the event.

The other locations for Thursday’s Project Homeless Connect events are the Yakima Convention Center, Noah’s Ark in Wapato and the Toppenish Food Bank. For more information on how to make a donation or volunteer contact Ellie Lambert at 509-574-1543.

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