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Project Connect Niagara links county residents with services

Fatima Elabed-Project Connect Niagara
Thomas O'Neil-White
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For residents of Niagara County dealing with problems like food insecurity, health problems, or unemployment, Project Connect Niagara can provide a one-stop hub for critical services.

Project Connect organizer Christian Hoffman said its great for the event to an in-person gathering after a year off due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Christian Hoffman
Thomas O'Neil-White

“They can walk away with better knowledge,” he said. “(And) at least some phone numbers so that when that crisis comes when a difficult time comes that they at least have some idea of the resources that are out there and available to them.”

Over 25 booths were set up inside the Heart, Love and Soul Food Pantry and Dining Room.

One of the resource tables is a sex-ed table set up by Native American Services Health Educator Fatima Elabed.

“We have a bunch of resources that focus on HIV risk reduction and safer sex for the most part,” she said. “So anything from like barriers to how to have the sex conversation into how to properly prepare yourselves about that birth control barrier methods like internal, external condoms.”

Last year the event went online with care packages being sent to those in need but Hoffman believes there is much more to be gained by returning to the in-person event.

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