COLUMBUS (WCMH) – For a lot of people, a haircut or getting your teeth cleaned can feel like a tedious task or errand to run. For more than 100 people Monday, one non-profit organization offered those services and more to those in need.

A non-profit called Make-A-Day said it’s part of why the organization holds pop-up mobile events for the community, the goal of which is to empower the impoverished through inclusive community events, acts of kindness, advocacy, and educational awareness.

During most of the pop-up events, services go beyond food and haircuts, helping out with on-the-spot presumptive Medicaid health insurance coverage, and medical, behavioral health, dental, and vision service referrals.

“We think if a lot more people in Columbus can come together and share what resources they have, there’s a lot of abundances here and really taking care of our population,” said Kyle Barger, Make-A-Day cofounder.

Make-A-Day Executive Director Dustin Mckee said people also have to take into account the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on many. Volunteers at the events know a haircut or new clothes can go a long way for many families who may be getting ready for a job interview or are looking for a reason to feel good.

“It’s about community and we need a lot more like this to encourage the community,” said Jeremy Collins, one of the people who attended.

The events also give others a chance to provide an open space where people can trust them and talk to them about the resources or help they need to do better.

“If they just want help with dental, we try to make sure that happens,” Mckee said. “That often leads to a bridge to medical and then maybe mental health, then maybe housing, and then maybe employment. Then when you start to build on that thread, that relationship leads you to places you never thought possible.”

One woman who attended the pop-up in the Short North said she came for health services as her Medicaid just expired.

“I’ve seen a lot,” attendee Rebeka Modena said. “I’ve been through a lot. I’ve seen a lot of my friends go through a lot. At this point, I’m just about ready to get my life together.”

Though the event couldn’t offer free dental cleaning, the service will be offered at another event on Oct. 19. The next big pop-up event is scheduled for Dec. 13.

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