SPRINGFIELD, MO (11/15/17) - Community Partnership’s Ozarks Alliance to End Homelessness is hosting its 9th annual HOPE Connection and Veteran Stand Down event. And we have a full house here with people ready to get the help that they need.
A one stop service site to end homeless had around 600 people looking for help.
“it’s a direct service fair for anyone in our community who is experiencing homelessness or having some sort of housing instability," says Amanda Stadler, the chair for HOPE Connection planning committee.
Dozens of vital services including shelter assessments, gaining state id’s, flu shots, employment, and other basic needs were available. Stadler says with about 500 people sleeping on the streets of Springfield on a given night, one volunteer knows homelessness all too well because he used to homeless.
“I’ve been on the receiving side and now i’m on the giving side. It’s great," says Larry Barnard. "I don’t want to lose what I’ve got now and helping other people.”
Barnard says it just warms up his heart to help those that are in the same place he used to be in. And with every guest getting direct service and matched up with a volunteer, explaining how to get housing can be one of the most difficult talks to have.
“Cause that’s the hardest thing is getting off the streets," said Barnard.
With a wide variety of ages being served, last year, around 50 children were helped. Stadler says for the community volunteers, they’re learning more, here, about the homelessness issue than anywhere else. “It’s a really great opportunity for volunteers experience and maybe sees a different side of this issue that you didn’t know about before," she says.
With over 400 community volunteers and a big space like this there’s always room for next year for more volunteers. To find out how you can help click on http://www.cpozarks.org/ for more information on how you can make a difference.