This past fall, on a day that was very cold and wet, a man came up to me at Soldier's Field and shared his smile and his story of being homeless.  I learned about where he sleeps, how he spends his days and became fully aware that the amount I spend at Starbucks is what he lives on for the day...and sometimes less.

Bob is homeless in Rochester and he just happened to be at a nearby park on a day that I was working an event.  I was by myself and really could have used an entire team of hands.  Not sure if Bob saw that I was struggling but he offered to help me that cold, October day.

His conversations weren't always...um, easy to understand, but I listened and encouraged him, thanked him and saw a smile on his face that was very real and genuine. Bob helped me for hours with a smile and when I asked him to take a selfie with me, he had no idea why anyone would want a picture with him.  (he even apologized that I was downwind from him...but I didn't care). 

 

Bob was just as cold as I was that day and probably more since he spent his night on the bench right next to the park.  I asked him where he was going and he said, 

"I'm going to a place so I can warm up for a few hours.  I go here pretty much every day.  It is one of the few places where I can walk in and get out of the cold."

Project Community Connect is a free event for everyone in our community who is struggling to make ends meet, including Bob.  This event takes place each year.  If you know someone who is struggling to make ends meet or that is homeless, please share the details below with them.

  • When:  Friday, January 26th, 2018
  • Time:  10am until 2pm
  • Where:  Mayo High School, 1420 11th Ave. SE, Rochester, MN  55904
  • FREE Transportation:  Free city bus ride to Mayo High School.  Just let the bus driver know you are going to Project Community Connect.

The services and resources available at Project Community Connect are:

  • FREE lunch,
  • FREE haircuts,
  • Medical services,
  • Flu shots & immunizations,
  • FREE HIV testing,
  • MNsure Navigators,
  • Legal services,
  • Employment assistance,
  • Services for Veterans,
  • Photo ID’s,
  • Mortgage foreclosure resources,
  • Tax appointment information,
  • *new!*  Shoe Bus,
  • Interpreters
  • and more.
  • Socks that were collected at the Rochester Public Library will also be handed out

Project Community Connect is sponsored by the Homeless Community Network of Olmsted County.

Thanks to all of the following for being part of this event:

  • Al-Anon and Alateen: Progress not Perfection
  • APEX Recovery School
  • Catholic Charities of Southern Minnesota
  • Channel One Food Bank
  • Children's Dental Health Services
  • Community Dental Care
  • Community Food Response
  • Community Health Service, Inc.
  • Crisis Response for Southeast Minnesota
  • Cronin Home
  • DEED Veterans Employment Services
  • Disability Hub MN
  • Elder Network
  • Families First of Minnesota
  • Family Promise Rochester
  • Family Service Rochester/Father Project
  • Family Service Rochester-PACE
  • First Care Pregnancy
  • ...follow Project Community Connect's Facebook page for more information or call 507.732.7391 with questions.