Thursday, February 24, 2005

Homelessness initiative in Orange County

Tomorrow morning I'll be taking part in a joint press conference to announce the launch of a 10-year program to end chronic homelessness in Orange County. The announcement will take place at Project Homestart, the Inter-Faith Council's shelter for women and children.

Philip Mangano, executive director of the Interagency Council on Homelessness, will be with us to talk about how what we are about to do fits within state and national contexts.

In many ways, the thought of ending homelessness in these Dickensian times sounds like a pipe dream. But maybe it isn't. Architect Sam Davis shows that people elsewhere are making progress in ways we can learn from. They're doing it through broad, creative approaches that go far beyond emergency bed and board--for example Dome Village in L.A.

A Chapel Hill resident who has been homeless in his time tells me how important it is to have access to tools and a secure place to store them. I suspect there are lots of ideas like this that we should hear as we ponder the whole continuum of care.

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