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VIDEO: Second annual Project Connect Niagara to be held Wednesday

Tue, Jul 25th 2017 02:40 pm
Pictured are vendors at the 2016 Project Connect Niagara event.
Pictured are vendors at the 2016 Project Connect Niagara event.
Event provides wide range of services to Niagara County individuals
Project Connect Niagara, an event designed to connect those in need with critical services in a "one-stop" venue, will take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday at Heart, Love & Soul Food Pantry & Dining Room, located at 939 Ontario Ave., Niagara Falls.
The event will feature more than 45 organizations offering information, referrals and assistance to anyone who may be in need of help. Some of the resources available will include housing, employment, government benefits, veterans benefits, legal services, public benefits screenings, financial services and family services.
Also on-site will be health care providers offering physical exams, testing, vaccinations, dental care referrals, mental health screening and counseling, along with support and spiritual care.
"Last year's event was a great success, with 265 individuals attending and connecting with our providers," said Adam Bartoszek, committee chairperson. "Since last year, we have worked hard to put together an even better event this time around. We think that this will be a wonderful opportunity for even more people to receive the help that they need, and for us as agencies to serve our community."
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The event is presented by the Niagara County Coalition for Services to the Homeless, in conjunction with the annual Niagara County Poverty Conference. Sponsors of this year's event include Catholic Health, the Niagara Falls Teachers Community Service Fund, the Homeless Alliance of WNY, Kane Construction, Fidelis Care, the Mobile Safety Net Team and United Way of Greater Niagara.
With a goal of making a positive impact on the community, the project aims to form a partnership between community volunteers, city government, nonprofits and the private sector to provide this "one-stop shop" of health and human services for those in need throughout Niagara County.
"More than a quarter of Niagara Falls residents live in poverty," remarked Niagara University Executive Vice President Dr. Debra Colley at a press conference on Tuesday. "This is unacceptable, and programs like Project Connect Niagara help us to have meaningful conversations and offer critical resources to address this issue."
"When you talk about the revitalization of the city, people think of objects ... but rebuilding the physical infrastructure is the easy part. The hard part is rebuilding lives," City of Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster said. "When someone embarks on the crusade to make their lives better, they deserve our help. Events like this show that help is out there."
"More than 265 individuals attended last year's event, and the planning committee has worked diligently over the past year to address the feedback from that event, expand our reach within the community, and bring in more organizations and services," said Christian Hoffman, a member of the event's planning committee.
More than 500 people are expected to attend this year's Project Connect Niagara event.
For additional information about the event, call 716-205-0287, visit www.niagara.edu/projectconnect or email [email protected]. Transportation to the event is being provided by Aries Transportation from Lockport and sites around Niagara Falls.
Christian Hoffman at a press conference on Tuesday
Infographic courtesy of Project Connect Niagara

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