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Project Housing Connect Links Help to Human Needs

November 28, 2012

On the morning after the Presidential election First United Methodist Church of Midland opened its doors for Project Housing Connect, a once-a-year, one-stop-shop linking homeless individuals and families and those at risk of homelessness to a wide array of helping services.

More than 200 people, young and old, many with small children in tow, came through the door to avail themselves of information and assistance from the the 25 human service organizations whose booths filled the church’s Fellowship Hall. Those who attended represent 162 households and 372 individuals.

MidMichigan Medical Center-Midland exercise physiologist helped with health screening at Project Housing Connect.


Attendance was about equal to last year’s event, although many more individuals benefited, according to Amanda Johnson, housing specialist at Midland Area Homes and coordinator of the Project on behalf the Midland County Continuum of Care.

In the busiest corner of the room people lined up to be screened for high blood pressure, diabetes, and bone density problems at tables staffed by employees of MidMichigan Medical Center-Midland. The next most active spot was an adjoining room where free haircuts were being given.

Volunteer Mark Burks explains the Jobs for Life employment readiness program offered locally at Our Redeemer Church.


Two new resources were offered this year. Bay Area Housing provides homebuyer education and foreclosure prevention counseling. Jobs for Life, a nationwide program providing a 16-session job readiness program for unemployed and underemployed individuals, is offered locally by volunteers at Our Redeemer Church.

The Open Door Ministries prepared free lunch which was served by volunteers, among whom were Mayor Maureen Donker, Circuit Judge Jon Lauderbach, State Representative Tony Stamas, and the Rev. Dr. J. D. Landis, senior pastor of the host church.

Midland Mayor Maureen Donker and Pastor J.D. Landis of First United Methodist Church helped serve the lunch prepared by Open Door Ministries.


Attendees who stopped to inquire at the tables at least five agencies received a bonus: admission to the giveaway rooms. There they could take advantage of free winter coats, hats, and gloves, blankets, shampoo, conditioner, soap, deodorant, laundry detergent, and food. Donations of these items play a major part in the success of the event.

Project Housing Connect is an annual event sponsored by Midland County Continuum of Care and the Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness. The Midland Continuum combines the efforts of 21 non-profit and governmental agencies to prevent homelessness by providing housing-related services to those who are homeless or living in substandard housing.

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