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Press Release

Forum To Include Formation Of Work Group To End Homelessness In Contra Costa

September 24, 2004

National, regional and local leaders in the fight to end homelessness will gather Friday, October 1, in Pleasant Hill for a public forum and summit meeting on Contra Costa County's 10-year plan to end homelessness.

"We are very honored to have as keynote speaker Philip Mangano, executive director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness," said Cynthia Belon, LCSW, director of the county Homeless Programs. "This is his first visit to our county and it comes on a very special day."

Belon explained that when the county Board of Supervisors approved the 10-year plan in June as the Bay Area's first such commitment, the Board ordered formation of a work group to implement the plan. The Homelessness Inter-Jurisdictional Inter-Departmental Work Group is to be composed of senior level representatives from city and county government, the county Health Services and Social Services departments, police departments, the Homeless Continuum of Care Advisory Board, non-profit service providers and people who are homeless or formerly homeless.

While an expected 100-plus local participants attend forum workshops such as "Ending Homelessness City by City" and "Gaining Community Acceptance," Mangano and Belon will meet with county supervisors, city officials, representatives from U.S. Housing and Urban Development and the regional coordinator the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness.

"This meeting will include formation and launching of the work group, which we expect will work with the Homeless Continuum of Care Board and the community to bring an end to homelessness in Contra Costa," said Belon.

The forum is scheduled from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. October 1 at Hillcrest Congregational Church, 404 Gregory Lane in Pleasant Hill. It is organized by the Association of Homeless and Housing Services Providers, Interfaith Council, Homeless Continuum of Care Advisory Board, Contra Costa Health Services and Board of Supervisors, League of Women Voters and the Workforce Development Board. The event is sponsored by the Helen and Charles Schwab Foundation and the East Bay Community Foundation.

An estimated 15,000 people experience homelessness in Contra Costa each year, with 900 families and more than 7,000 individuals enduring it each night. The forum is planned to address the need for additional facilities and housing in the community.

Highlights from the forum will be broadcast on Contra Costa Television at 4 p.m. Monday, October 18, and 9 p.m. Tuesday, October 19. Contra Costa Television is channel 27 on most Comcast cable systems in the county and channel 32 on Astound cable in Walnut Creek and Concord.

For more information, call Cynthia Belon at 925-313-6736.

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Press Contact
  • Cynthia Belon
  • 925-313-6736