A Tuesday evening forum in Oak Ridge will focus on homelessness in Anderson County.
The free forum is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. Tuesday, November 18, in the Social Hall of the Oak Ridge Unitarian Universalist Church at 809 Oak Ridge Turnpike.
The forum has been organized by the Trinity Out-Reach Center of Hope, or TORCH, and ORUUC. It will bring together experts from social service agencies and the wider community for a panel discussion to explore how a 10-year plan to help reduce and alleviate homelessness could be effective in Anderson County, a press release said.
Also scheduled to be discussed are how to begin such a plan, its goals, and laying out a timeline for bi-monthly planning meetings. There will be time set for questions and answers from the audience, the press release said.
According to TORCH executive director Zabrina Minor, plans for the 2015 HUD Point in Time Count will also be discussed.
“The Point-in-Time Count is a one-day, statistically reliable, unduplicated count of sheltered and unsheltered homeless individuals and families in the country,” Minor said. “The count is a tally of who is homeless on a given night and provides a picture of who experiences homeless throughout the year.”
Scheduled for January 22, 2015, the count requires that communities applying for HUD Continuum of Care funding to serve homeless people do a count each year during the last 10 days of January.
“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,” Minor said. “Especially in Anderson County, many times the face of homelessness is the face of a child whose family is sleeping in their car, or of whole families who are suffering the full complement of the physical, emotional, and financial traumas of homelessness.”
For more information on the forum, call (205) 873-4547.