An anticipated 500 homeless and recently homeless citizens are expected to receive meals, health screenings, vaccinations and more during today’s Homeless Health Fair, happening from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Full Blast, 35 Hamblin Ave.
The county-wide event is presented by the VA Stand Down, Michigan Project Homeless Connect, and the Calhoun County Homeless Coalition, which includes the City of Battle Creek. The local coalition has organized the event for over a decade.
Mayor Dave Walters recognized the event with a proclamation at Tuesday’s City Commission meeting. At that time, Doug Stewart, executive director of the Share Center and one of the event planning chairs, thanked the community for its support.
Along with services for all attendees, additional services will be available specifically for veterans, including health care, transitional housing, vocational rehabilitation and more.
Tiyanna Payne, manager of the Health Care for Homeless Veterans Program at the Battle Creek VA Medical Center, said on Tuesday that a goal for the local VA is to help end veteran homelessness.
“Battle Creek, especially the Share Center, is an amazing community partner and they have really made a dent in this area’s homeless population with the services they offer,” she said, inviting all to support today’s event.
Many volunteers help put on the event. Linn Kracht and the social justice committee at St. Peter Lutheran Church will prepare and serve breakfast; and Dick Schlatter and volunteers from Chapel Hill United Methodist Church, with community donations, will prepare and serve lunch. The Food Bank of South Central Michigan contributed food, water bottles and food bags for distribution, and city employees donated to a fund to purchase 500 pairs of gloves for distribution, among other volunteers and donors.