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Project Homeless Connect lends helping hand in Hastings
This is the first year that Project Homeless Connect has been offered here in Hastings. And it was an entire day of service for those in need in South Central Nebraska.
Hundreds of people showed up at Hastings Evangelical Free Church for Project Homeless Connect.
Children, families, single parents and those with disabilities lined up out the door to receive many services they normally don't have access to.
Beverly Patitz is one of many volunteers that came out to spend an entire day to make someone else's better.
"Many of the people that I work with in my counseling practice have so many barriers to services," said Patitz.
And Project Homeless Connect helps provide a way for them to break out.
"If you have a single woman with four children and no transportation it's very difficult to get to ten different places that you may need to go," said Patitz.
Eleven years ago Tami Pederson moved to Hastings for a new start.
"It means awesome that there are people out here in the community that actually care about the people that have disabilities or people that are homeless," said Pederson.
Pederson and her three year old son take advantage of one of many services: haircuts, medical services, and employment opportunities.
But Pederson comes with other struggles too.
"He keeps on saying, mommy, own place, mommy, own room, and that just breaks my heart because, it's like, I'm doing the best we can do to try and find our own place," said Pederson.
"Try to imagine what it's like to be homeless and then not have money to say wash your clothes or get haircuts for your kids for school," said RuAnn Root.
"He's getting to that age where he does need his own room and his own place," said Pederson.
In 2011 at least 200 people were homeless or near homeless in South Central Nebraska.
Through grants and donations Project Homeless Connect received $20,000 for Friday's event and they're hoping Friday was the first of many to come.
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