Community Connect Takes Aim at Poverty

January 03, 2018 05:42 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- It’s a one-stop shop designed to help break the cycle of poverty.

"I think we're missing many individuals, households, and families that maybe aren't aware of all the great opportunities that are in our county," said Linda Lares at the SEMCAC office in Albert Lea.


It's an outreach effort with a name that defines its goals:  it's called Project Community Connect.

"Connecting community with resources, information, and education," Linda Lares said.

“It's very important for the people of the community who are in need to know what agencies are there and how they can support them” added Jason Mead at the Albert Lea Salvation Army.

Freeborn county’s first “Project Community Connect” hopes to reduce poverty and homelessness by bringing local groups and organizations …

"United Way, Salvation Army, the food pantry, public health, the city, the county,” Linda Lares said …

… under one roof for people who might need their assistance.

"As cold as it's been the biggest need is that people keep their utilities running, a roof over their head, that we help them with warm winter wear and those needs are always high, they're keeping us busy" the Salvation Army’s Jason Mead said.

And those needs cut across all demographics

"Just look at your environments, your work environment, your church environment, your social environment. in the past three or four years, not everyone has been blessed" said SEMCAC’s Linda Lares.

“Just yesterday we had somebody ‘I've never been in this situation ... I don't know how this system works’ so we're always glad to educate them not only about what the salvation army can do but what the other organizations in the community can offer" said the Salvation Army’s Jason Mead.

“And always, always as a community together we are so much better" Linda Lares added.

You can find more information about Freeborn County’s Project Community Connect through the link below:

Albert Lea Community Connect


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