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Project Connect successful

A number of the 300-plus patrons who attended Wednesday’s eighth annual Project Connect in Centreville appeared focused on their needs, and spent less time browsing and more time at specific tables for the exact help that brought them to the event.

Organizers of the six-hour event said 49 vendors, representing various agencies and departments to offer help for a variety of needs, were busy throughout the duration of the event,

Anita Lopez-Schlabach, organizer of the event, said based on her observations, the most traffic was at the Keystone Place shelter, legal aide services, utility assistance, Community Action Agency and the health department.

Meanwhile, Steve Yorks, director of the St. Joseph County Transportation Authority, said the agency provided free rides to and from the location. Though arrangements had to be made in advance, it transported 51 people.

Three federally funded agencies were no-shows because of the shutdown of government services, Lopez-Schlabach said.