Archive for Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Homeless forum focuses on solutions

Lawrence residents gathered Monday to discuss possible solutions to homelessness and mental illness. The forum was the fourth of its kind held so far.

December 1, 2009


Finding solutions was the goal Monday night at the Lawrence Public Library for advocates, social service providers and community members in the fourth and final public forum in a series on mental illness and homelessness.

The forums, organized by the Coalition for Homeless Concerns and the Recovery and Hope Network, began in June as a way to improve services for those in Lawrence struggling with mental illness and homelessness.

While each public forum focused on a different topic, Steve Ozark, forum coordinator, said that one main theme emerged from the forums.

“Housing is the No. 1 need in our community. Permanent supportive housing, emergency housing and transitional housing,” Ozark said. “If someone’s experiencing mental health issues (and) they’re homeless ... it’s very difficult to administer services.”

At the event Monday, participants broke into smaller work sessions to discuss solutions in areas such as housing, crisis intervention and volunteerism.

Ozark said that in order to find solutions, concerned members of the community need to become involved in the issues.

Lawrence resident Bob Beebe, 58, said that he attended Monday night’s forum to learn about how he can help those suffering from homelessness and mental illness.

“Just seeing what I can do to put back into my community,” he said, adding that as a Lawrence resident for his entire life, he feels a strong connection to the community.

“I’ve got to see where it’s going,” Beebe said.

Ozark said that the information gathered at the forums, including resources currently available in Lawrence, will be posted on the Lawrence Community Interfaith Initiative’s Web site at


nuby 8 years, 2 months ago

Would have been nice to know about this before the fact.

LJ World- it seems like you are always reporting on things after they happen and not letting us know that they are going to take place.

Meatwad 8 years, 2 months ago

The problem is that too many "lifestyle homeless" (mainly those who have substance abuse issues) are taking up the housing. They then contact their friends from other states and cities and get them to move here to also take advantage of Lawrence. There are people here who have no problem with Lawrence welcoming any and all and that is the problem. Lawrence needs to stop enabling people by simply giving them more beds. I was shocked to learn in the last LJW story that if an inebriated person comes to the shelter with a bottle of alcohol, it's taken from them and then given back when they leave in the morning.

Leslie Swearingen 8 years, 2 months ago

These meetings have been announced in the Journal World several times.

yankeevet 8 years, 2 months ago

Draft them into the military; and send them too Afganistan..........

fallingwhilereading 8 years, 2 months ago

Meathead Do you actually believe homeless call friends in other states asking them to become homeless. If a friend called you up, and asked you to go to another city to be homeless with them would you go? That part of your statement is stupid, and has no merit what so ever with being homeless. I do get a laugh when most of the people who post about being homeless, and have no idea about cycle homelessness. I mean it is just a bunch of uneducated idiots speak on things they have no idea about. ( talking sh*t) yankeevet I served, and I believe a well trained professional military is more affective. I wouldn't want to count on the guy next to me. If he had to put the crack pipe down before putting out affective fire. I would like the man next to me in that type of situation to be well trained, and less concerned about the next fix. I also wouldn't like to have a schizophrenic listening to voices, and caring grenades.

honestone 8 years, 2 months ago

fallingwhile reading says..."That part of your statement is stupid, and has no merit what so ever..." and "...just a bunch of uneducated idiots speak on things they have no idea about. ( talking sh*t) yankeevet." Take it easy falling... You rarely post without calling those that don't agree with you names. Are ex-homeless people always so agressive. I do believe that the homeless community know where they can get a free handout and Lawrence is an easy mark.

fallingwhilereading 8 years, 2 months ago

Yes I was homeless after being hospitalized for eight months. If that is what you were trying to ask. Am I angry with people that spout off on things they have no understanding of. Yes I do have issue with that. Angry no, but I do see people that do talk sh*t as useless individuals. Instead of learning what are the real issues, and causes of homelessness. We find these types of people giving inflammatory ideas. None of which actual have any merit to help end the cycle of homelessness. Most of the comments I see posted are close to be fascist based plans of what to do with the homeless. I shouldn't be surprised. We do live in Red Neck Heaven here in Kansas

50YearResident 8 years, 2 months ago

"Left Coast"? It that the one while facing South or the one facing North? : )

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