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Contact(s):Scott Whiteley Carter
501-371-4421

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE :
Friday, August 26, 2005

NATIONAL HOMELESSNESS CHIEF VISITS LITTLE ROCK;

LR LEADERS START WORK ON 10 YEAR PLAN TO END CHRONIC HOMLESSNESS

Little Rock, AR (26 August 2005) President Bush’s leader on homelessness issues made a visit to Little Rock today to endorse efforts by local governments and homelessness providers as they work together to implement a plan to end chronic homelessness. Philip Mangano, Executive Director of the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness, spoke at the Hinton Neighborhood Resource Center, visited with the newly appointed members of a steering committee charged with implementing the plan, met with local officials, and toured local facilities that serve homeless individuals.

Joining Mr. Mangano in his remarks were Little Rock Mayor Jim Dailey, North Little Rock Mayor Pat Hays, and Jacksonville Mayor Tommy Swaim. Each represents an entitlement city which has endorsed the concepts put forth in the 10-year plan. CATCH (Central Arkansas Team Care for the Homeless), a consortium of area providers which was the first entity to endorse the plan, was represented by its president, Doris Williams Turner. Also joining Mr. Mangano were Sally Shipman, the Region VI Coordinator for the US Interagency Council on Homelessness; Alice Rufus, Acting Field Office Director; James Slater, LR Field Office CPD Director; LR City Director Joan Adcock; and Andre Bernard, LR Housing & Neighborhood Programs Director.

“I am pleased to be in Little Rock today,” said Mr. Mangano. “The bringing together of public and private sectors is crucial as we work to end chronic homelessness. I am also pleased to be joined by three Mayors. In order to fully address the issue of chronic homelessness, we must look beyond the limits of a single city and approach it as a region. The support given by Mayors Dailey, Hays, and Swaim and their colleagues sends a strong message to the community and to the nation about their commitment to end chronic homelessness.”

“The approach being taken in the Little Rock region is the right approach,” continued Mr. Mangano. “Collaboration is the key. I applaud those community leaders who accepted the charge and agreed to serve on this task force. We stand ready to partner with you to ensure that new ideas and new resources help you get the job done.”

Following Mr. Mangano’s remarks, Mayor Dailey announced the members of the steering committee charged with devising strategies to implement the 10-Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness. The Co-Chairs are: Barry McDaniel of Our House, Inc., and Estella Morris of the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System.

The members are: Leta Anthony, community leader; Pat Blackstone; AR Coalition Against Domestic Violence; Darlene Bourgeois; St. Francis House; Denise Bowers; Colliers Dickson Flake Partners; Thurman Chambers; Union Rescue Mission; Veronica Goodloe; Little Rock Community Mental Health; Thomas Green, Department of Health and Human Services; Tom Grunden, Little Rock Community Mental Health; Brenda Hampton, Salvation Army; and Terry Hartwick, NLR Chamber of Commerce.

Other members are: Jack Harvey, community leader; Asst. Chief Eric Higgins, Little Rock Police Department; Larry Lichty, LEL Enterprises; Lawrence Picard, Little Rock Workforce Investment Board; Karen Pirtle, Arkansas Food Bank; Sharon Priest, Downtown Partnership; Linda Robinson, community leader; Rev. William Robinson, Hoover United Methodist Church; Rev. Betsy Singleton, Quapaw Quarter United Methodist Church; Sandra Wilson, Arkansas Supportive Housing Network; and Jim Woodell, River City Ministry. Providing staff support are Dr. David Sink of UALR and Doris Williams Turner of the City of Little Rock.

The steering committee held a planning session on Friday. After that, they will split into various work groups which will also include numerous other individuals from throughout the Little Rock region. They expect to have their recommendations for implementation strategies by December 2005.

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