First Ever Family Resource Fair a Success - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather, Events

First Ever Family Resource Fair a Success

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As kids get ready to go back to school, families are getting ready for the new year as well, with the first ever Family Resource Fair.

Back to school time can put an extra financial strain on Erie families.

"People have trouble getting food, let alone getting school supplies for their children," said Erie mom Catherine Goodwin.

Salon Owner Michael Hooks sees that need in our community every day. In his latest good will effort, he teamed up with the United Way to make the "Family Resource Fair" happen.

It introduced families in need to local organizations who are there to support them.

"Majority of people, they just need to know that there's someone there for them," said Hooks. "If they could just put forth a little effort, somebody could come behind them and help them just a little bit more."

"We have over 30 some different agencies, we got Community Shelters, Saint Paul Free Clinic, Saint Martin's Center, the Red Cross, the YMCA... just to name a few," said Ron Oliver of the United Way of Erie County.

Children aren't immune to the needs of their families, and what their parents have to do to provide for them.

"They have to work a lot to support our family," said 5th grader Zieir Marshall.

From shelter services to insurance reps, the fair has families covered.

"There are four providers in Erie that are CHIP provider, and they should know that if their children don't have health insurance they can get it," said UPMC Kids Insurance representative Diane Chuckro.

The poverty rate in Erie is nearly twice the national average. 26.1% of people in the city are struggling to make ends meet below the poverty line.

The need here isn't going away, but this fair is a step in the right direction.

"It's a start," said Oliver. "Everybody's working together in the community to try to reduce poverty... everybody's doing their part to make things better for the community."

Michael Hooks is also holding a free back- to- school hair cut event this Saturday at Pfeiffer- Burleigh.

It will be outside the school, from 8:00 a.m. Until 5:00 p.m.

Submit your event now
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