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In a Moment- Missoulian photography staff favorites 2017 04.JPG (copy)

Volunteer Ron Mueller, right, helps Bailey Hayden, who has been homeless for two years, decide which services he'd like to visit at the 2017 Project Homeless Connect. "I want to say thank you to all the people in Missoula for their kindness," Hayden said of the event.

Organizers for a Missoula event that helps those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless are seeking donations of winter clothing and personal hygiene products.

Now under the new name Project Community Connect, the annual event — in its 12th year — brings together a variety of services to help those in need.

This year’s Project Community Connect will be held Jan. 26 at Zootown Church from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Participants receive medical, vision and dental care as well as food, clothing and assistance with addiction, legal services or housing needs.

But to have the most impact, more donations are needed to make sure everyone who comes can get the things they need, said Theresa Williams, coordinator of Reaching Home, the city-county 10-year plan to end homelessness.

"Donations are barely trickling in," she said.

Last year more than 300 people received services at Project Community Connect.

The Missoula At Risk Housing Coalition, which puts on the event, is seeking donations of winter clothing to be given away at the event. All sizes of men's, women's and children's clothing, new or gently worn, are appreciated. Organizers are also seeking donations of sleeping bags, blankets and backpacks.

Clothing donations can be dropped off at any of the following locations through Jan. 22: the Missoula County Courthouse, Missoula Public Library, Missoula YMCA, Community Medical Center, REI, Missoula Aging Services and United Way of Missoula County.

Williams said the biggest need for donations for this year’s event are personal hygiene items that are put together as kits and distributed to clients.

Such items include deodorant, razors and shaving cream, wet wipes, hand warmers, toothbrushes and toothpaste, feminine hygiene products and quart-sized Ziploc bags. The Missoula YWCA is accepting the donations for personal hygiene items.

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Law and Justice Reporter

Crime reporter for the Missoulian.