The Oceanside Task Force on Homelessness and partner agencies at the Salvation Army Soup Kitchen in Parksville on Friday, Oct. 15 taking part in a modified Project Connect Health Fair. From left: Mandy Truman, SOS emergency assistance and advocacy co-ordinator; Natasha Coles-Webb, community outreach worker with Island Crisis Care Society; Robyn Movold, Oceanside Task Force on Homelessness co-ordinator and Joan Hasell, Salvation Army Soup Kitchen supervisor. (Lissa Alexander photo)

The Oceanside Task Force on Homelessness and partner agencies at the Salvation Army Soup Kitchen in Parksville on Friday, Oct. 15 taking part in a modified Project Connect Health Fair. From left: Mandy Truman, SOS emergency assistance and advocacy co-ordinator; Natasha Coles-Webb, community outreach worker with Island Crisis Care Society; Robyn Movold, Oceanside Task Force on Homelessness co-ordinator and Joan Hasell, Salvation Army Soup Kitchen supervisor. (Lissa Alexander photo)

Project Connect Health fair offers aid to PQB residents experiencing homelessness

Care packages of survival gear, food, personal care items handed out

The annual Project Connect Health Fair in Parksville did not include traditional indoor activities this year due to COVID-19.

But a modified event was held on Friday, Oct. 15, with the Oceanside Task Force on Homelessness and partner agencies at the Salvation Army Soup Kitchen where they distributed care packages of survival gear, food, personal care items and treats to residents experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness. This was held in conjunction with Homelessness Action Week (Oct. 10-17).

The fair, which would have been in its eighth year, normally provides services that include health and hearing exams, foot care, haircuts, showers, portraits, veterinary care, a hot lunch and more.

The OTFH was established in 2010 by the City of Parksville and those dedicated to eradicating area homelessness and the stigmas surrounding it. It currently includes Island Crisis Care Society, Forward House Community Society, Society of Organized Services, Canadian Mental Health Association, Island Health, RCMP, Salvation Army, OHEARTS, Vancouver Island Regional Library, Career Centre, Regional District of Nanaimo and the Town of Qualicum Beach.

To make a donation or receive more information, call 250-248-2093 ext. 248 or email oceansidehomelessness@gmail.com. Learn more about OTFH online at www.oceansidehomelessness.com.

— NEWS Staff

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