Experts from social service agencies and faith-based groups will discuss homelessness in Anderson County during a Tuesday evening forum.
The forum starts at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Social Hall of the Oak Ridge Unitarian Universalist Church. It’s been organized by the Trinity Out-Reach Center of Hope, or TORCH, and ORUUC.
The experts and community members will also discuss factors that contribute to homelessness in the county, explore potential solutions, and consider how to begin a 10-year plan to end chronic homelessness, a press release said. The discussion will also outline ways that people can be involved in the upcoming “Point In Time Count.”
“While many envision the homeless as unkempt people looking for a handout or pushing a shopping cart loaded with all of their belongings, the truth is that social service agencies and educators know that the face of homelessness is much different than society’s stereotypes,” TORCH Executive Director Zabrina Minor said. “Many times, the face of homelessness is the face of a child whose family is sleeping in their car who tries very hard to never let anyone know their true situation. There are whole families who are suffering the full complement of the physical, emotional, and financial traumas of homelessness.”
The mission of TORCH is to “invest in and support the holistic transformation of the economically disadvantaged in our community as they pursue self-sufficiency,” the press release said. TORCH aims to address the gaps in services within our community and to be a conduit to ensure that resources are reaching the demographic groups that need them most. For the homeless, many times that means letting them know about services and resources for which they are eligible and assisting them in accessing those resources.
There is no cost to attend the forum, and refreshments will be served. For more information, call Minor at (205) 873-4547.
The Oak Ridge Unitarian Universalist Church at 1500 Oak Ridge Turnpike.