HomeNewsCommunity resource fair set for Feb. 11

Community resource fair set for Feb. 11

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Augusta-Richmond County is bringing together county departments, outside organizations and local businesses for a resource fair targeting the needs of the homeless community.

Billed as the city’s “Bridge the Gap Community Resource Fair,” the event will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, Feb. 11 at the Salvation Army Center of Hope, 1384 Greene St.

“In terms of what the Salvation Army is providing, we have done a coat drive over the last month. And first of all, the response has been tremendous, we have had so many people in the community coming out for this drive. This is the day when they’re distributed,” said Derek Dugan, development director at the Salvation Army.

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Among the services offered will be grooming and hygiene stations, sanitation kits and vaccinations.

“There will be the full spectrum of services offered. There’ll be COVID testing, there’s going to be health checks, there’s going to be all the resources from housing, food, shelter, clothing, that anyone of low income or homeless needs, would want to receive and need to receive,” Dugan added.

“Homelessness is a deeply concerning issue in many cities, and effectively addressing this issue takes a multipronged approach,” said Augusta Mayor Hardie Davis, Jr. “The City of Augusta cannot solve homelessness alone, nor its contributing factors.”

The city’s Housing and Community Development Department is one of the primary sponsors of the event. It will be joined by the Georgia Department of Public Health and private businesses including Murphy Auto Group and Medical Associates Plus, which will provide the COVID-19 testing and vaccinations.

“Events like this resource fair are beneficial to our residents as it allows us to connect the underserved community with resources available to them locally and federally,” said Hawthorne Welcher, Director of the Housing and Community Development Department. “The resource fair also gives the city a great opportunity to work with agencies to provide aid to those who need it the most.”

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Dugan said the Salvation Army and Golden Harvest Food bank are partnering on a specific initiative.

“Golden Harvest is providing the food, the Salvation Army is preparing it, and we’re going to be distributing it together. So, the meals provided to everybody attending the fair is going to be a joint effort between the largest homeless shelter in the community and the largest distributor of food with the message being when we both come together, we can do more,” he said.

Dana Lynn McIntyre is a general assignment reporter for The Augusta Press. Reach her at [email protected] 

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