WACO, TEXAS – Each year the Heart of Texas Homeless Coalition, Veterans Affairs, and other community partners put on the Project Homeless Connect.

It is an opportunity for those experiencing homelessness to access a variety of resources.

“We have a main resource room, we have a room for veterans and youth, and then we have a medical room where we’re doing Covid vaccinations, HIV testing, and other health services,” Heart of Texas Homeless Coalition Chair Nicole Wiscombe said.

One reason for the project is to provide a one stop shop for resources.

“In our community, it’s challenging to access everything in one spot. You have to sometimes travel by bus one to two hours to get from one agency to another,” Wiscombe said.

It is also an opportunity to conduct a count on the homeless population.

“HUD requires us to do a census of the homeless population in our community, and this year we’re doing part of our count here,” Wiscombe said.

“We have more focus on health services this event than in years past.”

This year, Covid-19 has caused the event to add some opportunities including Covid-19 testing and vaccination.

Attendees could also get their Homeless Management Identification System ID so they can access certain services in the community.

Each year, they see about about 150 people at the event , and over the years, it has evolved.

“We’ve grown,” Wiscombe said. “So over the years, we’ve added things like bicycle repairs, haircuts, and other extended services.”

For more information, visit the Heart of Texas Homeless Coalition website.