Individuals can make a difference in combating the challenges of homelessness and in promoting the development of more affordable housing. That is the message of the April 24th forum presented by the TriCommunity Coalition to End Homelessness, the coalition announced.
The event will explore housing initiatives in the communities of Belmont, Waltham and Watertown.
Supported by local civic and religious organizations, the event focuses attention on the realities of housing costs and limits on housing units in these towns.
Chrystal Kornegay, Undersecretary, Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development will be the keynote speaker. With over 20 years of experience in community development, Ms. Kornegay will highlight the current situation in affordable housing in Massachusetts. Representatives from local social service, housing and community organizations will discuss their programs. Speakers include:
- Robert Mills, CEO, Middlesex Human Services
- Brian Costello, Director of the Watertown Housing Authority
- Ray Cowham, Case Manager at Bristol Lodge
- Jennifer Van Campen, Executive Director, Metro West Collaborative Development, Invest in Watertown
- Ellen Tan, President and CEO, Commonwealth Land Trust
- Virginia Monroe, Board of Directors, WATCH CDC
- Rachel Heller, Belmont Housing Trust
More than 15 organizations that serve the homeless will staff exhibits and provide information on their programs. Many of these groups will offer specific Take Action opportunities to attendees. These initiatives range from individual volunteer activities and advocacy efforts on specific legislation, to one day events for groups, including revamping shelter playrooms and staffing a Mobile Market.
Local legislators Senator Will Brownsberger and Representatives Dave Rogers, Tom Stanley, and Jonathan Hecht will offer their perspectives on pending legislation and respond to questions from attendees.
The Forum will be held on Sunday, April 24 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at St. Joseph Parish Hall, 130 Common St., Belmont. Doors will open at 1 p.m. for refreshments and an opportunity to meet with representatives from service organizations.
The founding members of the Tricommunity Coalition include New Roads Catholic Community (the parishes of St. Joseph and St. Luke) and the Advocacy Network to End Family Homelessness.