Hundreds benefit from Project Connect event in Chapel Hill - WNCT

Hundreds benefit from Project Connect event in Chapel Hill

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -

For those who are struggling, an event in Chapel Hill Thursday meant an improvement in health and a boost in self-esteem.

About 300 people benefited from the 7th annual Project Connect in Orange County. The event was held from 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. at the Hargraves Community Center in Chapel Hill.

Project Connect is a one-day event that connects people who are homeless or at risk of being homeless with a broad range of short and long-term services, including housing, employment, health and dental care, mental health care, veterans' and social service benefits and legal services.

"The purpose of Service Connect is to get all those service providers together in one place on one day," said Jamie Rohe, with the Orange County Homeless Program.

Each of the event's more than 50 providers donated their time and talents to give away services to those who are homeless or on the brink of homelessness.

"They told me I have a tooth in the back that its filling came out or has broken off," explained Crystal McHone, who received immediate, free dental service.

For those who needed it, Project Connected helped some find long-term assistance, like housing and employment.

The program used to be called Project Homeless Connect, but the "homeless" part was recently dropped because organizers are trying to help people before they lose their homes.

Since 2007, the event has served more than 900 people in Orange County.

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