Carson Dean, our new coordinator for Orange County's Ten-Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness, has hit the ground running. I got a chance to see him in action on Wednesday afternoon, when he met with two rising UNC seniors who will be planning their senior class project, which they want to focus on homelessness. Earlier on Wednesday he had met with students from Hunger and Homelessness Outreach Project (HOPE) of the Campus Y together with other student groups interested in working on homelessness issues.
To the rising seniors, he made a couple of suggestions including one that would give support to homeless people as they enter the work force for perhaps the first time in many years, or ever. Increasing employment is one of the key goals of the plan, and Carson has been holding meetings already with key players to talk about that.
And meanwhile, he has dramatically improved the web site for the plan, upfitting it with lots of useful and current information.
Carson's official title is "coordinator" of our 10-year plan--which is exactly right. Within Orange County already there are lots of resources for addressing the needs of the homeless and those most at risk. The success of the plan depends on putting those resources to the most efficient use--coordinating these multiple efforts--as much as it does on getting new resources in place. Looks like he's off to a great start.
Check out the web pages and see how you can get involved.