Over 100 Monmouth County residents who lack permanent shelter gathered at the New Beginnings Agape Christian Center in Freehold on Wednesday, for the annual Project Homeless Connect program.
Project Homeless Connect is an annual program hosted by Monmouth County. Aside from the New Beginnings Agape Christian Center in Freehold, the Jersey Shore Rescue Mission in Asbury Park and the Pilgrim Baptist Church in Red Bank hosted similar events to the one in Freehold. Mobile vans were also used on Wednesday to help those who were unable to get to one of the locations.
Peggy Comfort, Executive Director of Manna House in Neptune, helped organized the Freehold location of Project Homeless Connect, and expressed the importance of this year’s services because it coincided with the annual Point in Time Survey.
According to Comfort, The Point in Time survey is a nationwide effort driven by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). It is a way to get an accurate look at number of homeless people in America.
“The first thing people do when people come here [Project Homeless Connect] is fill out a Point in Time survey. It is really important for them to fill out the survey because that is what HUD looks at in order to determine funding,” explained Comfort.
After filling out the Point in Time survey, attendees were able to access a variety of social services and medical services like flu shots, blood pressure testing, diabetes testing and HIV testing. Attendees were then able to browse through donated clothing, toiletries and blankets and get a hot meal before they left.