Guest Post by Billie Guthrie
Below is some information about the upcoming Roundtable Discussion on Homelessness in Orange County.
A broad coalition of community groups and government officials will sponsor a second Roundtable Discussion on Homelessness on April 30th at New Hope Elementary School located at 1900 New Hope Church Road in Chapel Hill from 9am to 12pm. Registration and a continental breakfast will begin at 8:30am. All interested members of the community are invited to attend.
The goals of the event are:
1. To educate the community by dispelling myths and putting a face on the homeless,
2. To develop a long-term plan to end homelessness in Orange County
3. To encourage personal responsibility by inviting the community to address this issue individually.
Speakers, who will include local elected officials and advocates for the homeless, will provide federal, state and local perspectives on the needs and challenges facing the homeless. Attendees will participate in group discussions on topics including community ownership for ending homelessness; preventing homelessness; and moving people from homelessness toward self-sufficiency. Volunteers from the Dispute Settlement Center will help facilitate the small group discussions.
While registration is free and open to the public, advance registration is required. Interested community members may register online by clicking the link on the home page of the Town of Chapel Hill website: www.townofchapelhill.org. If you are in need of transportation or can not register online, please contact Billie Guthrie at 919-913-4166.
After the first Roundtable Discussion on Homelessness, held in November 2004, local leaders responded to community feedback by creating a Partnership to End Homelessness in Orange County. This planning group is charged with developing a process for Orange County to design a local 10-year plan to end homelessness.
The Partnership currently includes representatives from the towns of Carrboro, Chapel Hill and Hillsborough, as well as Orange County, the Triangle United Way and other non-profit organizations. Members include: Loryn Barnes (Chapel Hill), Margaret Cannell (Hillsborough/Orange County Chamber of Commerce), Emily Dickens (Chapel Hill), Tara Fikes (Orange County), Sharon Freeland (Orange Congregations in Mission), Billie Guthrie (OPC Area Program and the Community Initiative to End Homelessness), James Harris (Town of Carrboro), Margaret Hauth (Hillsborough), Sharron Hinton (Orange County), Kristin Lavergne (IFC), and Linda Tuday (Triangle United Way).
Billie Guthrie is the Housing Coordinator at OPC Area Program and Chair of the Community Initiative to End Homelessness.