Sometimes it takes just a little helping hand to make a difference.
For Johnny McGeough, his assistance comes with lenses.
The 53-year-old Port Coquitlam resident was one of several dozen people to stop by Northside Church on Kingsway Avenue Monday for Tri-Cities Connect Day 2012, which is part of Homelessness Action Week.
The event was an effort to provide a number of services for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
Volunteers were on hand to connect the homeless with 18 services including counselling for drug or alcohol addiction, mental health care and eye exams.
There were also haircuts and makeovers being offered.
In the case of McGeough, he was in need of some new specs.
He can't read without them.
"The only reason why I can recognize someone a block away is by the way they walk," he told The NOW.
So after a brief checkup with a volunteer eye doctor, McGeough was given a prescription for a new set of free glasses.
"It's the bomb," he said, noting he also managed to get an appointment with a counsellor to address some financial issues.
Now in its fourth year, the Tri-Cities Homelessness and Housing Task Force has teamed up with nearly two dozen non-profit groups to organize the one-day event.
Each year, the number of people dropping by has grown.
McGeough missed last year's Connect Day.
He was still deep into the bottle and his battle with alcoholism. But fast-forward 12 months, he's now sober and looking forward to Christmas.
McGeough wants to be straight to celebrate his daughter and granddaughter's birthdays.
"Family's No. 1. That's all there is to it," he said.
It's that reaction that brought Susanna Walden back for a second year of volunteering.
An event and project planner by trade, the Coquitlam mother sees the day as a chance to give back to the community, in a much more personal way.
"It's the right thing to do," Walden said.
She said the event also allows her to share the experience with her kids.
It's a lesson that at anytime her family could be in the position of the homeless and less fortunate.
The longtime resident said she intends to come back every year to help volunteer for Connect Day.
Similar Connect Days are being held across the Lower Mainland as part of Homelessness Action Week.