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Homeless Connect Offers Over 1,500 Community Members in Need Access to 70+ Services in One Day

EDMONTON, ALBERTA -- (Marketwired) -- 04/04/14 -- This Sunday, over 70 community organizations will come together for the twelfth Homeless Connect Edmonton-the largest event of its kind in Canada-at the Shaw Conference Centre. Government services, not-for-profits, businesses and volunteers come together to provide free essential services to more than 1,500 guests who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

"This is the twelfth Homeless Connect and, especially with the change in seasons, these services are still very-much in demand. By providing these essential services in one place, on one day, people learn about different services available and service providers are able to work together in one location," says Susan McGee, CEO of Homeward Trust Edmonton.

Throughout the day, service providers work together to provide both essential and dignity enhancing services such as tax services, eye exams and referrals, housing services, laundry services, long distance calling, clothing supply, haircuts and counselling services.

Homeward Trust coordinates Homeless Connect through collaboration with Edmonton Economic Development, Shaw Conference Centre and community leaders representing various sector organizations and agencies.

"The Shaw Conference Centre is a proud founding partner of Homeless Connect. This community-inspired initiative contributes to the Edmonton's 10 year Plan to End Homelessness, and our community's continued efforts and generosity are influencing similar events around Canada," says Cliff Higuchi, vice president and general manager of the Shaw Conference Centre.

Homeless Connect takes place twice a year at the Shaw Conference Centre. The convention centre is a proud founding partner of the event, contributing over $83,000 annually in services plus hundreds of hours of staff volunteer support on the steering committee and during each event.

Learn more about Homeless Connect Edmonton at www.homelessconnect.ca.

About Homeless Connect

Homeless Connect Edmonton is a bi-annual, community inspired event that provides free essential services to homeless and at-risk individuals on one day and at one location.

Since it began in 2008, the event has been held twice a year at the Shaw Conference Centre, a valued partner of the event.

Homeless Connect's mission is to:

--  provide services that open doors out of homelessness
--  build lasting partnerships
--  raise public awareness of homelessness in the community
--  provide a vehicle for community involvement

Who organizes Homeless Connect?

The event is organized and directed by a steering committee comprising members from a variety of organizations, and is managed through a partnership between Homeward Trust Edmonton, Edmonton Economic Development Corporation and the Shaw Conference Centre.

Additionally, the event is serviced by local community providers and staffed by hundreds of enthusiastic and passionate volunteers.

Services offered include:

--  mental health assessments
--  Edmonton Public Library services
--  clothing supply
--  haircuts
--  pre-natal support
--  tax preparation
--  laundry
--  housing information
--  employment and training services
--  portrait photography

Recent additions to services:

--  We are excited to welcome back suit tailoring courtesy of Employ
    Abilities. At our October 2013 event a tailor made on-the-spot
    modifications to suits for guests with upcoming interviews.
--  Our April 2014 event welcomes representatives from Dreamcatcher Nature
    Assisted Therapy Association who will be onsite with various domestic
    and farm animals providing animal therapy to our guests.
--  Courtesy of the Edmonton Public Library, our April 2014 event will offer
    a video game station to our teen guests.

Homeless Connect Edmonton is organized by volunteer committees that provide direction and support for the event. Homeward trust Edmonton, a not-for-profit organization providing leadership and resources towards ending homelessness, coordinates the overall work plan and ensures the event aligns with related Edmonton initiatives.

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