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Board accepts NaCO award for Project Community Connects

Post Date:09/24/2018 3:30 PM

NaCO Project Community Connects award 
Carver County Commissioners Gayle Degler, Tim Lynch, Jim Ische (back row, green shirt) and Randy Maluchnik (yellow tie) accept the NaCO award on behalf of the county for Project Community Connects. Rod Franks (far right), Carver County Director of Health and Human Services, present the commissioners the award for his staff.

CHASKA, MINN.— Carver County has received a 2018 Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties (NaCO) for its work on Project Community Connect, a collaboration between Carver and Scott Counties.

Project Community Connect (PCC) assists citizens who struggle to meet basic needs. The event brings together a wide variety of services in one place at one location. Services provided included a job fair, employment services, healthcare, education assistance, legal assistance, veteran’s services, haircuts, food, energy assistance, housing and homeless services, and vouchers to help obtain birth certificates, ID cards, drivers licenses, gas, food, hotels for the homeless and more.

The event, which occurs annually and serves both Carver and Scott Counties, was developed eight years ago. At last year’s event, nearly 500 guests attended and were served by 112 providers (including 20 employers), along with 132 volunteers.

The event allows people to get the help they need, beyond what social services generally provides.

“A haircut, shower, a meal, and a good night’s sleep are often the only thing standing between a person who is homeless and a job,” Jennifer Romero, Carver County Housing Coordinator, said. “This event provides those things. Also, it meets the needs of providers by helping them outreach to the community. It helps employers who need employees. It engages the community and educates them on poverty and homeless issues; all while giving low-income and homeless households the help they need to improve their lives.”

“This is truly, truly a service that meets the needs of our community in a very special way,” Rod Franks, Carver County Director of Health and Human Services, said at a recent County Board of Commissioners’ meeting where the award was announced. 

The 2018 event was held on Wednesday, September 12 at the Canterbury Park Event Center. For more information visit the event’s website at