Hundreds turn out for Project Homeless Connect

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Boutwell Auditorium was packed Saturday morning with many volunteers and even more patrons for Project Homeless Connect.

The event is put on each year by the city of Birmingham to provide services for the nearly three thousand homeless in the Magic City.

Health screenings, legal counsel, housing aid, and spiritual guidance are just some of what is offered at Project Homeless Connect.

“They did a lot of things for me today,” said Donna Burns as she sat in a barber’s chair for a haircut. “I’m just very grateful to be able to have come to this program.”

Burns hadn’t originally planned on getting her hair done as part of her trip, but after a vision screening, she noticed the word ‘hair’ on a sign above her and inquired about a trim.

Burns used to do her own hair, but after she was diagnosed with Carpel Tunnel Syndrome, it was difficult for her to reach the back of her head. It was also difficult for her to ask for help.

“When somebody’s here doing it like they’re doing and they’re smiling about doing it, and they got joy in doing it, it’s a pleasure to me,” Burns said.

The event is possible thanks, in part, to people like Nikki Bankhead. She is in her final semester at Lawson State Community College and provided some of the hair services at Project Homeless Connect.

“It makes me feel good because I don’t know everybody’s situation, and we have a lot of people here who have come from different walks of life, so when they come in here and they leave out, then they feel like a new person.”

Bankhead was one of three cosmetology students from Lawson State to help out with Project Homeless Connect this year.

Copyright 2014 WIAT-CBS42

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