You-Count Homeless Connect Event provides the homeless with valuable community resources

PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — The annual You Count Homeless Connect Event is a one-stop shop event for the homeless in Escambia County.

Nearly 200 people attended the event at the Pensacola Bay Center Thursday and connected with 60 vendors ready to help.

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“We have a number of homeless people in our community that need help and need resources,” Escambia County Emergency Manager Travis Tompkins said. “We want to do everything we can to tap them into the resources that are possible.”

Vendors were there to provide legal assistance, haircuts, and something many people were looking for, ID cards.

“Anybody that knows of anybody that’s worked with homelessness, if you don’t have an identification card you can get nowhere,” Tompkins said. “There’s no resources you can tap into. You can’t get into housing; you can’t tap into resources that can assist you out of homelessness without an ID.”

Health care providers were also in attendance providing things like glucose and blood pressure checks.

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“Health care is extremely important when it comes to homeless,” Opening Doors Northwest Florida Interim Executive Director Serene Keiek said. “Sometimes if you can resolve a health care issue you might be able to resolve a homeless issue.”

The event takes place during the annual Point-In-Time Count, a survey on the number of people experiencing homelessness in our community.

“As we’ve been going out we invited the people who are unhoused to come to an event that can connect them to multiple service providers that can remove the barriers of homelessness,” Keiek said.

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