Students look to help homeless

” Project Homeless Connect will be collecting items for local homeless until Tuesday April 27 at The Chapel. Project Homeless Connect is a one-day event that is being sponsored by the city of Akron and the Salvation Army. This is the third year for the event.”

Project Homeless Connect will be collecting items for local homeless until Tuesday April 27 at The Chapel.

Project Homeless Connect is a one-day event that is being sponsored by the city of Akron and the Salvation Army. This is the third year for the event.

Char Cannon, member of the nursing sorority at the University of Akron, said she believes that this year will be a success because previous years have also been successful.

Every year the event grows bigger and bigger and last year, over 800 homeless individuals were assisted and they actually had to turn away a lot of people, so the goal this year is to assist 1,000 homeless individuals, Cannon said.

Socks and Purell are the items that the city of Akron and the Salvation Army are collecting. Used items will be accepted, but new items are the goal. However, there are 40 different agencies working together on Project Homeless Connect and each agency will be helping the homeless population in a different way says Cannon. She goes on to explain, Each table offers a different service. Some offer clothes, while others offer health screenings such as glucose screenings and blood pressure checks. It really is a fantastic thing. Hospitals are also involved in this by having doctors and nurses give check-ups to the homeless individuals who attend.

The only stipulation to receive these services and items is that the person receiving them must be homeless. All the homeless people are not those living under bridges. Lots are in transition housing such as Access, Haven of Rest or Harvest Home, says Cannon. In order to benefit from this event, individuals must be present at The Chapel on April 28.

Students and faculty can donate at a few different places. There is a box on campus in Mary Gladwin Hall in room 313, as well as in Commuter Central. Donations can also be dropped off or sent to The Chapel where all collections will be distributed or at Open M, a community health center that is involved with Project Homeless Connect. Cannon adds that it is more convenient to leave donations on campus.

Cannon believes this event is important for many different reasons. In a nutshell, before coming to UA and joining the nursing program I knew nothing about the homeless population; I was very ignorant. Now I understand a lot more, and I really understand that it is important for us to do what we can, says Cannon. Helping people makes you more human and makes you a better person.

Cannon believes many people will donate, and so far they have. She has emptied the box in Mary Gladwin Hall 3 or 4 times. Local churches, hospitals and GoJo, the makers of purell, have also graciously donated. Cannon also thinks that this event will not suffer because of the economy. This event will boom because the economy has made people more aware of how easy it is to be in a situation where they may need help. It has raised consciousness, Cannon said.

Those who donate will be able to find out if the goal of helping 1,000 homeless individuals was met. Cannon will post flyers with the results of how many people were helped. Student volunteers are also needed on April 28 to help distribute all the goods collected. If interested, students can contact Amy Glazer at 330-315-5525 or online at www.thechapel.org. Donations are being accepted through April 27.