The 9th Annual Community Connect Day was a resounding success, according to Anne Harvey of the Nelson Committee on Homelessness (NCOH).
More than 300 people had already been through the door at the Distance Education School of the Kootenays gymnasium in Nelson by noon on Saturday, taking advantage of the multitude of services offered during the event.
“It’s been a great day, we’ve had over 300 people through the door already and it’s just past noon,” said Harvey.
“It’s obviously someplace that people want to be so we’re really happy about that.”
Community sponsors went all out this year, offering services that ranged from haircuts and dental check-ups to coats, winter boots, and baby supplies. For the first time, veterinary services were also available.
“We’re very excited about all that and for the first time we have a vet as well who is doing consultations. For some people who are marginalized sometimes their pet is their best friend, and it’s so expensive,” Harvey said.
The benefits extend to service providers as well, offering them a chance to make real connections and maintain relationships with the people they are helping.
“Sometimes they lose track of people and run into them here and it’s like ‘how is it going’ and ‘how are you dong these days’,” Harvey told The Nelson Daily.
“It’s great for both sides and great for people who are offering services, everyone takes away something from this day. They get to see people that know they’re making the connection with and can make a difference down the road.”