Volunteers and community organizations are preparing to join the Jackson County Community Services Consortium Homeless Task Force in preparation of Project Homeless Connect 2009, the first ever one-day, “one-stop shop” for all homeless individuals and families in Jackson County.

Volunteers and community organizations are preparing to join the Jackson County Community Services Consortium (JCCSC) Homeless Task Force (HTF) in preparation of Project Homeless Connect 2009, the first ever one-day, "one-stop shop" for all homeless individuals and families in Jackson County.

The event's planning meeting will take place on Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Anyone interested in being a part of this important event is encouraged to attend the meeting, which takes place in the Housing Authority of Jackson County conference room located at 2551 Table Rock Road.

Project Homeless Connect, which will take place on June 5 at the Medford Armory, is being coordinated by the JCCSC HTF in conjunction with the United Way of Jackson County, City of Medford, ACCESS, Inc., Easter Seals, La Clinica, The Salvation Army/Medford Citadel, DASIL and the VA Southern Oregon Rehabilitation Center & Clinics.

"Hundreds of people are homeless on any given day in Jackson County," said Ed Angeletti, planning director of ACCESS Inc., the Community Action Agency of Jackson County. "It is only through coordinated community efforts like these that we'll be able to tackle the issue of homelessness. We will also be providing clothes and supplies that are essential for those that may be living on the streets."

The goal of Jackson County's Project Homeless Connect 2009 is to connect the community to the issue of homelessness. Additionally, it is designed to connect the homeless to essentials such as medical care, substance abuse and mental health counseling, housing, shelter, and other services.

"This is going to be an unprecedented collaboration of service providers that are often inaccessible to the homeless population," Angeletti said. "We think this event can help a lot of families and individuals meet a variety of important needs, all at one time, as well as making positive connections to eventually end their homelessness."

More partners are still being sought to provide other services, referrals and material donations. Volunteers are needed to greet the homeless as they arrive, help complete medical and dental applications, provide translation services, serve food and provide numerous services including child care and pet care.

Donations are being sought for the following items: clothing (especially for cold weather), blankets, sleeping bags, tents, backpacks, luggage, strollers, bicycles, non-perishable food, can openers, toiletries and gift certificates to restaurants or grocery stores. Skilled volunteers are also sought to provide the following: mental health, domestic abuse and substance abuse counseling; eye exams and eyeglasses; employment services; benefits assistance; legal assistance; wheelchair repair; massage and foot care; and educational classes.

For more information, to volunteer, or to donate materials or services, please contact Ed Angeletti, ACCESS Inc. Planning Director at 774-4330 or eangeletti@access-inc.org, or visit www.access-inc.org. Checks can be mailed to Jackson County Community Services Consortium, P.O. Box 1087, Medford, Oregon 97501.