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Rutgers University in Newark Explores Strategies for Ending Homelessness and Creating Affordable Housing-Dec. 14

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Homelessness casts a wide and undiscriminating net. Tangled in the mesh are people experiencing serious mental illnesses, drug and alcohol dependencies, or unforeseen economic crises. Moreover, as incomes fail to keep pace with housing costs and as foreclosures increase, Americans face complicated choices: putting food on their tables, paying for quality healthcare, educating their children, or keeping a roof over their heads. Those unable to keep everything afloat become another homeless statistic. On Tuesday, December 14, 2010, a public forum co-sponsored by Rutgers University’s School of Public Affairs and Administration and Cornwall Center for Metropolitan Studies will feature two panels of scholars and administrators to explore these compelling topics and provide insights and suggestions on how to improve the plight of the disenfranchised.

“While all segments of American society are impacted by negative economic forces, none are more vulnerable than the victims of homelessness and those in need of affordable housing. Our forum is a necessary step toward devising tangible solutions to the dual problem of homelessness and insufficient affordable housing for displaced Americans,” comments Dr. Marc Holzer, dean of Rutgers University’s School of Public Affairs and Administration. “Our esteemed panelists have the perfect blend of experience and expertise to analyze all aspects of these complex and multifaceted issues.”

The event features keynote speaker Dr. Dennis Culhane, professor of social policy at the University of Pennsylvania. The first panel, New Strategies for Ending Homelessness, will be moderated by Herb Levine, executive director of Mercer Alliance to End Homelessness, and includes panelists Alison Recca Ryan, New Jersey director of the Corporation for Supportive Housing, Marygrace Billek, director of the Human Services, Mercer County, New Jersey, and Arnold Cohen, policy coordinator of the New Jersey Housing and Community Development Network.

Ray Ocasio, executive director of La Casa de Don Pedro – Newark Community Development Network, will moderate the second panel, Strategies for Creating Affordable Housing. Its panel members are Anthony Marchetta, executive director of the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, Michael Meyer, director of Housing and Real Estate for the city of Newark, and Samuel E. Miller, senior project management specialist for the New York Regional Office of the Office of Field Services for the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The forum, which is free and open to the public, will be held at Rutgers University’s Paul Robeson Campus Center, 350 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Newark, NJ, 8:00 am- 12:30 pm. For more information, please contact Irene Welch of the Cornwall Center for Metropolitan Studies, 973-353-1750.