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Project Homeless Connect

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Julie Hong

OMAHA (KPTM) - A job, house, doctors visits, all things we sometimes can take for granted.

And for people who are less fortunate who can't afford the basic needs, Project Homeless Connect Omaha worked to give them all those things in one place.

A place to get them back on their feet.

Creighton University's Kiewit Fitness Center is a haven for Tonette Breckenridge.

"I'm just hoping I can get some help."

Down on her luck after a car crash that left her unable to work and struggling to pay her bills...

Tonette came here to the Project Homeless Connect.

"It's been tough I mean your lights and gas gets cut off, one gets cut you get it on the other gets cut off."

It's a one-stop shop for the homeless and near homeless to give them access to housing and employment services to medical help they might not otherwise get or afford.

"I wish we can do away with homelessness but I don't think we'd ever do away with it but we can give hope," says Ed Shada, one of the key organizers of Project Homeless Connect.

It's hope that helped 318 metro residents in need last year.

But as metro shelters report a ten to 25 percent increase in people using their services, in its second year, event organizers expect the need to be even greater, helping more than 400 people this year if not 500.

"There are thousands of thousands of people more homeless because of the economy situation facing our country," says Omaha Mayor Mike Fahey.

For Andrew Cooper he says he's thankful for this place.

"It's pretty important because I don't have transportation for one to have everything here and just do some walking is really valuable."

Help he hopes will help him get back on his feet.

"This can be the most important day in the lives of someone in need," says Michael German.

Last year the emphasis was on dental care.

This year the focus was on education, mental health and eye care.

About 25 donors and the University helped to fund the project.

More than 700 volunteers helped staff the event.

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