October 30, 2014

Second Arenac County Project Connect aims to help needy

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STANDISH — From free food to free haircuts and from free medical screenings to legal advice, Arenac County Project Connect is aggressively attempting to serve those in need.

Jennifer Idalski, Arenac County’s American Red Cross Case Manager, says the event, being held on Sept. 24 at the Standish Knights of Columbus Hall, developed out of Michigan State Housing Development Authority’s Continuum of Care meetings.

She also says she is familiar with the calls of the needy in Arenac County.

“I get calls frequently from people (in Arenac County) saying that they’re homeless or that they’re doubling up with another family… or staying in a camper, or in a tent in the summer time,” Idalski said. “They don’t know who offers what and if they can benefit from their services.”

So Idalski says businesses, churches, government agencies and civic groups were contacted, and many enrolled, 25 to be exact, in Project Connect (PC).

“Most of these people are going to be vendors,” she said.

According to Holly Bender, Community Relations Manager for St. Mary’s of Michigan Standish Hospital, the hospital, in its second year of participation in PC, is expecting a lot of people to take up free physical screenings offered by the hospital.

“We only had a few people partake (last year). … I actually think with the way our economy is right now, I think more individuals from the community will attend,” she said. “It’s our goal to serve the community and there are a lot of people in need of health care examinations, so this is the perfect event.”

Those suffering with putting food on the table can take advantage of assistance offered at PC, as well.

“We’re planning on doing 200 food baskets, so first come, first serve,” Idalski said. She added Good News Ministries of Twining is housing and assembling the food baskets, as well as delivering them to PC.

For more information, contact the Arenac County American Red Cross at 989-846-6333.

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