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Independence free health event is one stop shop for those in need

Posted: 4:52 PM, Oct 06, 2017
Updated: 2017-10-06 19:01:18-04

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — Several social service agencies are getting ready for a free public health service event in Eastern Jackson County, the first-ever of its kind in that area.

It’s called Independence Project Connect.

“We have over 50 service providers, over 100 volunteers to serve our neighbors just to really give them what they deserve,” Community Services League Housing Services Manager Amber Bauer said.

The event will be held Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Community of Christ Auditorium in Independence.

“It's all about organizations coming together as one to serve our community,” Bauer said. 

Several organizations have teamed up to provide a one-stop shop for people in need. Just a few of the many services will include employment opportunities, dental care, haircuts, and physicals.

“It is not only to serve the homeless population, but it's also to serve the underserved and uninsured,” Bauer said. “Barriers are insurance, barriers are unaffordable housing, so we are just coming together as one to show everybody in Independence what we do have to offer and making that collaborative approach to make that happen.

And their efforts start in Lexington, Missouri, where organizers bring items from the Health Care Collaborative of Rural Missouri’s warehouse.

“It’s a 7,500 square foot warehouse that we have that we glean items that would otherwise go in a landfill,” Director of Network Development for Health Care Collaborative of Rural Missouri, Suzanne Smith said. “It's things that people can't buy with food stamps, laundry detergent, personal hygiene items, beds sheets, pillowcases, pillows. We utilize those and get those back out to the members of our network that we work with, social service agencies, critical access hospitals to help those who are in need.”

While the process has been quite the job, Bauer doesn't consider what she does work.

“Some of my families that I work with, they don't have family per say so I am their niece I am their friend I am their confidant,” she said. “So you always take into consideration how you can help people on every level so when I think of the work I do on a daily basis, it's not work.”

The event expects to help roughly 400 people.

The event is free and open to the public.

To learn more about the event and also ways to volunteer, click here.