From haircuts to clothing to health screenings, Project Community Connect gathered a growing number of area organizations and service providers to help residents of Marion and Ralls counties connect with vital services Thursday, Oct. 19, at the Admiral Coontz Recreation Center.
For 2017, the total number of service providers surged to 64, up from 49 in 2016, said Christy Power, Project Community Connect marketing committee member. She said there was a line of people at the door when the event opened at 10 a.m., and she said providers included youth services, mental health services, housing opportunities, dental screenings from Clarity Healthcare and haircuts from Great Clips. As participants visited each booth, they received information, free clothing, food and other goods and services.
Power said all the volunteers were busy helping participants throughout the morning, and she wished to thank the planning committee members, along with everyone who worked together to make the event successful.
A new app called Johego for Android and Apple devices was demonstrated by Founder and Executive Director Michael Kehoe. He said the free application was released to the public about a month ago, following a soft launch through the Missouri Foundation for Health's Healthy Hannibal Initiative. He said community partners offering benefits like social services and medical services. Kehoe said connecting people with services they need in the area is vital, because access to information acts as a barrier for people who need specific services. Kehoe said the application brought his dream to fruition.
"To finally have it in real people's hands — using it to get real services that they really need — it's made all of those years of work totally worth it," he said. "We hope to continue growing and continue improving our product to better serve our users' needs."
Power said she felt the team effort throughout Project Community Connect and the extensive planning were well worth the benefits offered to participants.
"We plan for nine months for this event — and just to see it all come together is really nice — with everyone working together," she said.
Reach reporter Trevor McDonald at firstname.lastname@example.org