People in need can receive food, veterinary care and more at Thursday’s event
VANCOUVER — Open House Ministries will host a community block party for people in need on Thursday, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Everything from free food to veterinary care will be provided.
The event began as a barbeque for the homeless; sponsored by the Rotary Club. By 2015, it had grown to the community event for those in need and has been drawing some 500 people in years past. The annual gathering features nonprofits, organizations, businesses, and ministries from across Clark County.
“It’s an important open house to offer a community resource to people to get people connected,” said Open House Communications Manager Dina Hovde. “That’s one of the things they see as really needed among the homeless community is for them to even know what’s available to help them.”
The event will be held inside the new Family Resource Center at Open House’s main campus in downtown Vancouver. Since much of the event will take place inside the large space, weather will not be an issue. Open House’s bike shop and thrift store will also be open and selling merchandise.
Among the most popular services offered is the barbeque, with free hot dogs and hamburgers served this year from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. The free veterinary care is also a well-loved part of the event, with Banfield Pet Hospital contributing their resources to give pet care to people who usually would not be able to afford the service.
Hovde explained that there will also be alumni of the Open House shelter and program at the event. This is valuable to show current and future residents what restoration looks like as well as a good time to check in with the alumni, she said.
“We want to be a partner in the solutions, and help energize people to be part of the solution in our community,” she said. “It’s something that we’ve been advertising and libraries and community outreach centers and places where people in need go.”
Also on the site will be Clark County Volunteer Lawyers, Clark County Food Bank, Friends of the Carpenter, Lighthouse Community Credit Union, Hope Lift, Human Services Council, Clark County Superior Court Therapeutic Courts, SHARE, and many more.
“Really, the whole idea is about connection, and finding connections to work together toward the things that individuals need,” she said. “Whether that be court services, whether that be food services, whether those be spiritual services, it’s really a chance for people to connect with the people in our community.”
The pet clinic will run during the entire event, while food and some other services will only be for a portion of the time. For more information on the schedule and the services to be offered, you can contact Open House through their website or on Facebook.