Two Institutions Collaborate for Homelessness Summit

 EUREKA – Nearly 300 community leaders, students, and faculty gathered for the North Coast Homelessness and Housing Insecurity Summit yesterday.

The summit was hosted by two institutions that collaborated to develop and implement solutions around homelessness in Humboldt and Del Norte Counties. College of the Redwood’s President, Keith Snow-Flamer, spearheaded the summit initially. He then reached out to Humboldt State University’s President Lisa Rossbacher, whom was interested in bringing this idea to life for yesterday’s event.

CR’s, Marty Coelho believes that the first step needed to enact change is to create awareness where there are holes that need to be met.

Presenters ingrained in the audience the importance of shifting questions from, “what’s wrong with you?” to “what happened to you?” They believe the foundation of growth stems from ACE, or adverse childhood experiences. To prevent ACE’s in the community one must start at the beginning and understand that childhood experiences have an impact on a person’s future.

Summit Coordinator Lynette Mullen believes connecting ACE to empathy, allows you to see through a different lens what someone has gone through, and ways it can be approached in order to help that individual going forward.

After highlighting real life stories of those struggling with homelessness, going over statistics, and learning how to implement change, summit attendees hope to utilize the information they learned to educate the public on the importance of providing empathy and support going forward, rather than turning the other cheek.

Presenters also touched on a home share program, and will further discuss the topic at a later summit, possibly in the fall of 2018.