Bags full of free supplies are ready to go for the 2021 Project Connect in Petersburg. (Photo by Ashley Kawashima)

The exact number of people who are homeless or housing insecure in Petersburg is unknown. But some local non-profit organizations are getting closer to figuring it out.  For the last four years, they’ve been holding an annual event called Project Connect. It helps count the people who are housing insecure locally and at the same time provides them with free resources like clothing, food, hygiene products, and gift certificates. It also helps them with assistance programs. Petersburg Mental Health Services and WAVE are coordinating the event with support from many local donations and volunteers.

Ashley Kawashima is a Behavioral Health Clinician with PMHS. She spoke with KFSK’s Angela Denning about Project Connect. She says it coincides with the national Point in Time count, which looks to get a nationwide count of how many people are experiencing homelessness. Kawashima says Project Connect is a way that Petersburg can be part of it.

The Project Connect event is Jan. 27 in the John Hanson Sr. Community Hall from 2 to 6 p.m. The last hour–from 5 to 6 p.m.–it will be opened to the whole community for anyone who could benefit.

Kawashima says if you’re not sure if you are housing insecure or not please come by anyway.