Community comes together for unique networking event - KXXV Central Texas News Now

Community comes together for unique networking event

(Source: KXXV) (Source: KXXV)

Dozens of people showed up at the Waco Convention Center to partake in Project Homeless Connect (PHC).

The project was started by the Heart of Texas Homeless Coalition more than a decade ago and is centered around helping the homeless or less fortunate find jobs or housing. More than 45 community organizations came to the event. 

Mike Ormsby with the coalition said the project's main goal is to help people find housing and jobs. 

"Our goal is certainly that someone could make some movement forward today," Ormsby said. "It [PHC] might help somebody connect with somebody, just to move at least one step more toward housing -- toward whatever goals they have," he added. 

Ormsby also said PHC is about more than just helping people get jobs -- it's also about reminding the folks who came that they are important to the community, too.

"We hope that the folks that come feel loved and cared for by our Waco community," he said. "As a city that's sort of dealing with some of that tension with more visitors wanting to be welcome, we also want to serve those in need in our community."

Ormsby said estimated about 120 people showed up. 

Lamont Coulter was one of those people who came to PHC. He said he's been struggling to get back on his feet after he broke his leg at work, and ended up homeless.

"I've been homeless for five months," Coulter said. "I broke my leg and the job that I was working didn't have insurance, so I lost my apartment -- my engine died on my truck -- and I checked into the shelter."

He said he came to the networking event in order to try to change his situation he's in.

"It's not fun living outside," Coulter said. "I want to stick my key in my own door, so I come to these programs like this in order to try to better myself."

Coulter said he has a lot to offer any employer, and that he will not stop trying to change his situation until it has actually changed.

"I have 25 years experience in food service, I'm a jokester, I'm a team player and I'm not gong to give up," Coulter said. "They call me obnoxious, but I'm going to keep knocking on your door until I get what I want."

PHC also included haircuts, dental and medical screenings, and pet care.

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