Community outreach event slated

DALLAS — The fourth Polk Community Connect, an outreach event assisting those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, will take place in Dallas on Jan. 28.

The free annual event is being held at a new location this year, Valley Life Center, 1795 SE Miller Ave. It will run from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Coordinated through a partnership between Polk County Family & Community Outreach and the Salem Leadership Foundation, Polk Community Connect will offer dental care, basic health screenings, pet care, bike repair, haircuts, clothing and, to those who arrive early, backpacks and camping items.

Resource agencies, including those providing children and youth services, job assistance, housing, veterans’ services, education information, mental health, and information about other potential benefits, also will be on hand to offer assistance.

Co-coordinator Michelle Bornfleth said approximately 300 people were served through last year’s event. This year, organizers have been focusing more on getting the word out about the resources and services available at the event.

“We are hoping for more (people to attend) because we have been doing more outreach this year,” Bornfleth said.

Free hot meals provided by James2 Community Kitchen and free transportation to and from Valley Life Center is available.

Free bus passes through Cherriots and CARTS are available before and at the event. For those communities not served by Cherriots, free shuttles will offer rides every hour starting with pickup times at 7:30 a.m. and the last departure from the event at 4 p.m. Pickup locations are: Independence — Roth’s, 1401 Monmouth St.; Falls City — Falls City Community Center, 320 N. Main St.; and West Salem — United Methodist Church, 1219 Third St. NW.

Need Assistance?

What: Polk Community Connect.

When: Wednesday, Jan. 28, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Where: Valley Life Center, 1795 SE Miller Ave., Dallas.

Of note: Those interested in serving as a provider should contact Michelle Bornfleth at 503-623-9664, ext. 2457. Volunteers are always welcome and can call 971-599-3845 or send an email to

For more information: Herm Boes, 503-569-9364;

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