Erin Fennelly couldn’t keep the smile off her face as she put the finishing touches on a haircut Wednesday morning.
A haircut with Fennelly normally costs $22 at Peter’s Images Unlimited salon. But this haircut is free.
It’s part of the Project Homeless Connect event in Concord.
The project is a national effort, meant to gather health and social services under one roof for those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.
The 30 people who came to the Green Street Community Center got a hot lunch, could take a shower, and get free flu shots for themselves and their children.
Several agencies were there, too, such as Families in Transition and Child and Family Services. The event is sponsored by the Concord Coalition to End Homelessness.
The coalition’s co-chair Linda Newell says all of the agencies serving homeless people are seeing increased demands this year..
And she says connecting those who need help with the agencies that can help is the challenge.
“We do have a couple outreach workers here too and they’re going out trying to spread the word. Sometimes people don’t want to come in and get help but we just want people to know help is available.”
At booths set up around the gymnasium, people could learn about social service, employment, and health care programs.
At the table run by the Concord Contemporary Club, attendees could get bags full of hygiene products like soap, shampoo and deodorant.
And in a repurposed school bus stationed outside the center, Rise Again Outreach, a faith-based nonprofit, gave away clothes, including winter jackets and sweaters.
A man named Mike, who chose not to give his last name, picked up a pair of boots and socks.
“It’s nice. It’s a good thing they have stuff like this to help people out.”
The Concord Cold Weather Shelter, which was also at the event, opens its shelter this Friday and is still seeking donations to help say open during the winter.