Event helps people navigate the social services maze
There are hundreds of people who live in our community who are experiencing homelessness or are at risk of becoming homeless. Project Connect, now in its second year, is a free service that connects families and individuals with resources that can bolster financial stability. Better still, Project Connect brings the services to the clients, instead of the clients needing to go to the agency for service.
This year’s event will be held on Tuesday, February 13, from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. at First Assembly of God Church, located on the southeast corner of Ocotillo and Superstition.
Some of the services provided will be free haircuts, vision screenings, free tax preparation, assistance with SNAP applications, housing and utility assistance, city court, clothing, child support, health and mental providers, as well as state ID replacement. Some services require proof of ID and residency, so please bring as much documentation with you as possible to ensure that services can be provided.
Pinal is a very large county, and some of the service providers are not easily accessible from Apache Junction. This can make keeping appointments with an out-of-area provider an even bigger challenge. For those who have no steady income, securing assistance can take months and often requires multiple return trips to social service agencies. Transportation costs alone can put a financial strain on limited incomes.
Additionally, many households have limited internet and telephone access. “One day I was helping a person at the Resource Center at the Genesis Project, and I was on hold for over 20 minutes,” said Mannie Bowler, Executive Director for the United Way of Pinal County. “This would not have been an option for a client with limited telephone minutes.”
It is difficult to navigate the social service maze, and there are many obstacles that can make the process incredibly overwhelming and demoralizing. Project Connect seeks to simplify access to necessary services and guide clients through the application process.