The second Independence Project Connect, a free public health and social-service event for underserved and uninsured people in Eastern Jackson County, is Saturday at the Community of Christ Auditorium on Walnut Avenue.
The event, hosted by the Community Services League with many others helping sponsor, is from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the lower assembly area of the Auditorium.
Amber Bauer of CSL said the services offered are in seven main categories that will generally be grouped together: dental care, medical and insurance, mental health and substance abuse, income support and general resource, veterans services, legal help and housing.
Whereas the first Project Connect in October 2017 had about 60 service providers, this time there will be a little more than half that. Bauer said they helped about 1,200 at the initial event.
“We were more intentional with the service providers we have this year,” she said. “The last time it was very crowded.”
Among the services Bauer said she's most excited about: the dental care and job fair. Hope Dental will be offering screenings, and if needed extractions will be scheduled.
“We'll have 10 to 12 actual employers there doing interviews,” Bauer said, including the city and the Independence School District.
In addition to dental care, multiple hair stylists will be available, Bauer, there will be assistance to obtain IDs – all simple things that can help change a person's outlook and the possibility of getting a job.
“That can change their world, the same with ID's,” Bauer said. “Some don't have the $10 or $15 to get an ID, and you need that to get a job.”
Project Connect is not geared as much for the homeless, Bauer said, as they have some needs beyond what is offered or provided. It's more for those working low-wage jobs during the days who struggle to find the means to needed or helpful services.
“It's a chance to see what our community has to offer,” she said. “Underserved and uninsured, that's the population we're targeting.”
CSL is also asking for volunteers to help with Project Connect, mainly to serve as navigators – helping citizens find the services they need most. Volunteers are asked to arrive by 8 a.m. About 400 volunteers helped with the 2017 event, Bauer said.