Volunteers in the Mat-Su Borough are gearing up to help hundreds of people in need.

The Menard Sports Center will host the 9th annual Mat-Su Project Homeless Connect on Wednesday. It's a one-stop shop for resources and services like hair cuts, medical and dental care, and HIV and Hepatitis C testing.

"Transportation is a huge issue for people in the valley, especially people who are homeless or living paycheck to paycheck," said Becky Stoppa with the United Way Mat-Su. "Maybe they have a car but can't afford to get repairs. To have all the services available on one spot on one day I think is really important," 

On Tuesday, volunteers put together small gift bags filled with toiletries, snacks and laundry soap.

Stoppa said they're preparing to distribute the bags to more than 300 people.

"We're seeing a lot more panhandling in grocery store parking lots in things like that," Stoppa said. "But there are a lot more homeless people who are hidden we're not necessarily aware of. It's not like Anchorage where it's very visible. I think people underestimate the need out here," she said.

The 2019 Mat-Su Project Homeless Connect is at the Menard Sports Center from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 13.

People who need free transportation can call 907-671-8107.

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