Public effort to help thousands of homeless people in Seattle

SEATTLE — A hand up for thousands of homeless people at the CenturyLink Event Center in Seattle.

They had access to a wide range of services to get them back on their feet.

It's been years since some of the people received something as simple as a haircut.

“With a professional hairdresser -- wow!” said Susan Manning Fritz Jackson. “Thank you so much.”

In addition to gratitude, organizers with the United Way also wanted those getting help to walk away with something else.

“We know that homelessness is a crisis in our community,” explained United Way’s Lauren McGowan. “We’ve got a state of emergency. People need services, they need housing. But more importantly, they really need hope.

That hope (comes) in the form of critical services under one roof; services like feet washing, job help, medical care that many people take for granted."

Shellde McClain brought her daughter's family.

“They just moved back to Seattle, they’re in search of housing and getting themselves back in order,” McClain said. “With the baby, he’s only 7 months, so they needed some help.”

Allan Humiston got to visit the dentist.

“I came here for employment to help find a job, get a haircut and with that - I got haircut, my tooth fixed,” Humiston said. “I'm happy.”

Damon Secrettie, not only walked out with brand new shoes, he walked out with connections to hopefully get off the street soon.

“Something like this gets my mind going and what I really need to do,” Secrettie explained. “It's a real stepping-stone for me.”

The United Way has been holding this event for the last 12 years.