Sixth annual Project Homeless Connect happening Saturday
BIRMINGHAM - AL —
Everyone likes to hear a good story.
"Gentleman came in and said 'I don't have a job'," Don Lupo said.
Lupo, who works for the city of Birmingham, likes to tell them.
"'If I had a CDL license I could have a job'. We said 'Come on!'"
Stories of hope and second chances that he, himself, is part of.
"If I didn't get paid, I'd still do it," Lupo said.
For six years Lupo has spearheaded Project Homeless Connect. Giving the homeless eye exams, dental care, blood work, health screenings, legal advice and the opportunity to get a license...all for free.
"This is a day where a smiling face meets someone in need at the door and walks them to the table to make sure that person gets all the services they need," he said.
It's a tall order. A seven hour operation servicing more than 800 people.
"Overall, we'll have over a thousand volunteers," Bob Boylan said.
Boylan is with Hands on Birmingham. He says volunteers are ready to help this Saturday.
"It shows how great our local community is because they can get behind something as unique and great as this nature," Boylan said.
"We're not going to save the world, but we can make the world better," Lupo said.
Every person who attends will also be leaving with a care package, consisting of hand soap, razors, deodorant, lotion and mouth wash, among other things.
For Lupo, the payoff is the stories he tells.
Remember the man he was talking about who was needing a license? He came back a year later.
"He walked in and said 'Y'all don't remember me'," Lupo said. "'Last year, I needed this help and y'all made me a driver's licence and three days later I got a job'."
It's why Lupo never underestimates the power of people helping people.
Project Homeless Connect will be Saturday, March 9, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Boutwell Auditorium in Birmingham.