By Nathan McIntire
Hundreds of people turned out for the 7th Annual Passageways Homeless Resource Fair in Pasadena on Friday.
Designed to gather and advertise the free resources available to homeless people in Pasadena, the fair provided housing information, job training and impromptu health exams to all visitors. The event, coordinated by Kitty Galt of the Pasadena homeless outreach program Passageways, attracted representatives from 36 different organizations.
The fair was held at the Pacific Clinics Wilson Auditorium on Fair Oaks Avenue. Scattered booths from a variety of vendors and service-providers offered personal help, pamphlets and giveaways.
Gary Scheidt said he was pleased with his first visit to the resources fair.
Homeless for the past year, Scheidt said he hoped to learn more about long-term housing options. The familiar faces at the fair made it a more comfortable atmosphere for networking, he said, describing it as “festive and fun.”
Evelyn Mendoza learned of the fair while riding by on a bus, and said so far she had found it “educational and informative.”
Representative of the Housing Rights Center helped visitors with lodging issues. The AIDS Service Center provided information, consultation and contraceptives.
A job-training bus from Foothill Employment, complete with computers, was parked outside the auditorium; Pacific Clinics provided a mobile clinic unit of its own, a bus dubbed the MobileCare Express, where attendees could get check-ups and have routine tests.
Fairgoers were required to visit 12 booths to receive lunch catered by Pie ‘N’ Burger and be entered in a raffle for prizes. The food was paid for by Security Pacific Home Loans, whose employees served the long line of visitors.
Volunteer Gayle Meador, a local Realtor, says Pasadena typically has 900 to 1,200 homeless people on the streets on any given night. Organizer Kitty Galt says Meador’s help has been instrumental in increasing the scope of the resource fair and attracting local business participation.
Meador credited the local community with the growth of the event.
“Pasadena is an autonomous city,” she said. “We can take care of our own.