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Spokane Valley Homelessness Connect returning after three year hiatus

This week, service providers will gather in Spokane Valley for the community’s first homelessness resource fair since 2019. The Spokane Valley Homeless Connect will offer free haircuts and a medical clinic, along with food and clothing banks.

Aileen Luppert, chair of the Spokane Valley Connect organizing committee, says the event will have a range of services, designed to meet the needs of a diverse homeless population that includes families, people involved in the criminal justice system, and people experiencing chronic homelessness.

“They will be surrounded by volunteers, service providers and people who are there who want to help, want to find a solution and want to get them what they need,” Luppert said. “I hope if they don't see it instantly on the vender list, or looking around, they'll find somebody and ask. It’s such a wealth of information and resources and people that know who to contact in the right places. There's a pretty good chance if you have a question, we can get you an answer before you leave.”

Luppert says showers, a hot meal and clothing will be available. There will also be 57 service providers, including housing, ECEAP preschool, and free swim passes for families.

She says the last event in Spokane Valley had 300-400 attendees, but she expects potentially more people after the latest Point in Time Count. That count, a Federally mandated census of homelessness that takes place in January, found there were around 2,400 people experiencing homelessness in the county. That’s more than a 50% increases since the last time the Spokane Valley Homeless Connect in 2019. That count is likely an underestimate of homelessness in the region, because it doesn’t cover families who are doubled up.

The Spokane Valley Homeless Connect is Thursday, May 18 from one p-m to 5 p.m. at Opportunity Presbyterian Church located at 202 N Pines Road.