A FREE EVENT aimed at providing support to the county’s veterans and homeless or at-risk individuals is the mission of the Shiawassee County Homeless Coalition. Those shown include (from left) Owosso Rotary representatives Tyler Leppanen and Paul Cook, Project Connect Planning Workgroup, Casey Wilder, Penny Corbin, Fred Finnen, and Shane VanCise. The group will be holding an upcoming event to provide support for area residents. (Courtesy Photo)


The Shiawassee County Homeless Coalition is presenting the Ninth Annual Project Connect, a free event aimed at providing support to county residents who are homeless or at-risk of becoming homeless. The event will be held on Thursday, June 9 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the McCurdy Park – Corunna Community Center (old casino) located in Corunna. The event is made possible through a grant received from the Owosso Rotary and Rotary District 6310.

A special time has been set aside for veterans from 8 to 10 a.m., although veterans are welcome throughout the event. With the help from a Rotary grant, veterans will receive a free hot breakfast, lunch, and a backpack full of personal care items.

Event coordinators anticipate 50 agencies and other organizations offering to help with employment and personal care items as well as vision, hearing, depression, and health screenings. Some agencies will have services available specifically for veterans. The Greater Lansing Food Bank truck will be giving food to those who qualify. Haircuts and a hot lunch will be offered free of charge.

In 2014, about 350 people attended Project Connect and took advantage of a full range of services provided in one convenient place. Rebecca Zemla, manager of Capitol Area Community Services and Project Connect Chair encourages “Everyone who lives paycheck to paycheck or have lost their job or have medical issues, are always at risk of becoming homeless. Project Connect will help you understand the services available.”

The Shiawassee County Homeless Coalition reports approximately 600 homeless or nearly homeless people in Shiawassee County do not fit the typical stereotype of homeless. There are many misconceptions about homeless individuals and families. Most homeless individuals have lost their job or are evicted because of the economy or are victims of abuse. Some are returning from the military or incarceration. There are many variables leading to homelessness and needing assistance. These individuals are encouraged to attend Project Connect.

If needed, there is free transportation to and/or from the event provided by Transportation Solutions Division of SATA. Please call (989) 725-9303 before June 9 to schedule. Childcare will be available.

For questions about Project Connect, please call (989) 723-3115.

Owosso Rotary Sponsors Project Connect Event was last modified: June 6th, 2016 by Karen Elford