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A fund-raising and volunteer sign-up drive kicked off Monday in support of the San Diego Housing Coalition’s annual Project Homeless Connect, put on in conjunction with the Interfaith Shelter Network, Family Health Centers of San Diego, and St. Vincent de Paul Village.

The Project is described on the Coalition’s website as “a one-day resource fair, that provides health screenings, flu shots, dental exams, haircuts, drug counseling, legal aid, housing counseling and other services for San Diego’s homeless families, veterans, seniors and disabled.” This year’s event will take place on Wednesday, January 30 at Golden Hall in the San Diego Concourse Downtown.

Event organizers are seeking as many as 400 volunteers to staff registration tables, assist in guiding clients to service providers, and handle food service. They’re also in need of specialists to help with everything from housing, legal aid, substance abuse, and mental health services referrals to dental screenings, haircuts, and veterinary care.

Donations are also being sought. Items needed include small bottles of shampoo and soap, new toothbrushes, toothpaste, and other toiletries, new socks, and clean, new or gently used clothing, shoes, and sleeping bags. All donations are being collected at Golden Hall on the 29th, a day prior to the event, and can be dropped off anytime between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.

In a separate event, the Regional Task Force on the Homeless is also seeking volunteers to assist in conducting WeAllCount, an annual census on the region’s homeless population that is used by local agencies in understanding the scope of and identifying solutions for the local homeless population. The San Diego Free Press has more information on the count and how to volunteer.

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