SPECIAL EXTENDED BADGER FORUM
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 23 | 12 to 2PM
SPECIAL BADGER FORUM:
What do we really know about homelessness in our community? It’s easy to look around and say “Well, it’s not as bad as Seattle.” Or Spokane. Or Olympia.
Or is it?
Look carefully and you’ll find people living on the street in every part of our community. You’ll see them sleeping in doorways in the hope of catching a little warmth from under the door or at least being sheltered from the elements. Look a bit harder and you’ll find people making a home deep in the brush at Columbia Park or other spots along the rivers. Out of sight, out of mind?
Ask a school counselor or a teacher how many of their students are living in their cars. With or without a parent.
How long until we see a highly visible homeless encampment like the ones next to Seattle freeways or Camp Hope in Spokane?
The Badger Club’s Special Forum: Addressing Homelessness on Thursday, February 23 will ask that question and many more of a panel of experts, including former Tri-City Herald Publisher Rufus Friday, who is now Executive Director of a large homeless shelter in Lexington, Kentucky. We will also hear from Chris Patterson, the former HUD administrator who now heads Spokane’s effort to provide services and facilities for those who are homeless.
The first segment of the forum will give us a look at the numbers: Dr. Patrick Jones who heads the Eastern Washington University team that produces the website BentonFranklinTrends.org. United Way President LoAnn Ayers will also bring her insight to the discussion.
Following that will be a panel of local shelter leaders who will give us insight into the more personal site of homelessness: Jonathan Mallahan, Chief Housing Officer for Catholic Charities Eastern Washington will update the status of the new low-barrier housing project in Pasco; rounding out the panel will be Union Gospel Mission’s Andrew Porter; and Angie Pacheco, Executive Director of Domestic Violence Services.
This Special Badger Forum will begin at 12 Noon and last until about 2 PM, followed by Table Talk, the open-mic half-hour after each forum.