Local organizations are coming together to get homeless individuals off the streets and get them moving their lives forward.

“It’s a way to really show people that they are loved and cared for in this community,” said Mike Ormsby a Social Worker at VA Medical Center in Waco.
“It’s the first time in a really long time that the homeless coalition has done two homeless connect events,” said Roy Nash from NeighborWorks Waco.
The event —  put together by the Heart of Texas Homeless Coalition, NeighborWorks Waco and the Department of Veteran Affairs — gives homeless the opportunity to access different social services and local organizations and non-profits.

“This is an effort to bring together the agencies that have programs for the homeless,” said Nash.
In January, Waco has 221 homeless people, that’s down nearly 30% since the same time 8 years ago. We’re also seeing a decrease statewide of about 31% since 2012.
“If you link individuals and families with the resources they need and decrease those barriers to getting out of their homeless situation, it is impactful,” said Melinda Bonds, Homeless Coalition Chairman.
Dozens of volunteers came out on Friday to give a helping hand, they handed out water and food, gave haircuts, and issued identification cards.

“It’s great to see people put smiles on their face and see people out here having fun,” said Baylor Woman’s Basketball player Lauren Cox.
“We’re just excited to be here to help reach out to our neighbors in Waco,” said Jeremy Harris from C.O.R.E.
All, coming together to help put an end to homelessness.
“Hopefully they can make one extra connection today. It’s easier to make the connection to be able to help move themselves forward and move out of homelessness,” said Ormsby.
 “If we can turn those homeless folks in to give them more stability in their lives, that’s what it’s all about,” said Nash.
The next event will be held at the end of January.