Albany-Dougherty Homeless Coalition hosts event for those in need

Albany-Dougherty Homeless Coalition hosts event for those in need
Published: Nov. 15, 2022 at 8:45 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - For people facing homelessness, things like health screenings and haircuts might be a low priority. That’s why the Albany Dougherty Homeless Coalition came together for their 8th annual Project Homeless Connect event.

The chair of the Albany Dougherty Homeless Coalition, David Blackwell, told WALB that he is seeing an increase in homelessness in the area and that events like these are needed to help people get back on their feet.

Those in need receive a multitude of services.

“It is an event that’s designed for Albany’s homeless, including our working poor where we have all of our service providers and many others here to actually make an appointment or actually meet a need while they’re here today,” Blackwell said. “Everything from haircuts, to lunch, to HIV testing, flu shots, COVID vaccines. And a wealth of other services that they’re able to receive free of charge.”

David Blackwell is the chair of the Albany Dougherty Homeless Coalition.
David Blackwell is the chair of the Albany Dougherty Homeless Coalition.(WALB)

Patrons can also receive services such as housing assistance, utility assistance and rental assistance.

Ivy Laregina says she found herself struggling after moving all the way from New Jersey to Leesburg. But with this event, she says she was able to get things such as deodorant, toilet paper, paper towels and other small necessities.

She says with the holidays coming up, she’d like people to remember one thing:

“Giving is a necessity. That everybody needs it no matter what status of income you’re in,” Laregina said. “If you’re not a millionaire, you need help. Middle class is no longer... I’m supposed to be middle class and I’m here. It’s no longer- so everybody need help. All these people are like little angles here on earth.”

Ivy Laregina is a Leesburg resident.
Ivy Laregina is a Leesburg resident.(WALB)

Blackwell says events like this are becoming more needed.

“Our numbers are up. We do a survey every other year and numbers are up,” Blackwell said. “With the economic situation that our community and our country that drives more people to events like this where more needs can be met. We have the Veterans Administration with 11 of their programs that are here to make those services available to our veterans.”

Different booths at the Project Homeless Connect event.
Different booths at the Project Homeless Connect event.(WALB)

Blackwell says that while the holidays tend to be the time when homelessness and giving back are most recognized, for most people, it is a year-round struggle.