Pittsburgh, PA – August 19, 2009 – (RealEstateRama) — Congressman Mike Doyle (PA-14) will be the keynote speaker at a September 3 community forum, which has been called to address the increasing incidence of homelessness in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County. FHLBank Pittsburgh is a cosponsor of this event.
The forum, entitled “One Paycheck Away: the Reality of Homelessness in Pennsylvania,” is being convened to increase public awareness about the changing face of homelessness in the region. It will be held on Thursday, September 3 from 11 a.m. to noon at University Center on the Carnegie Mellon University campus, 5000 Forbes Avenue.
The forum marks the first of several events being held as a prelude to the 2009 Sleep-In for the Homeless, scheduled for October 9 at the City-County Building downtown. That event is designed to support more than 1,500 homeless children, seniors, veterans and other adults through the programs of Community Human Services, a nearly 40-year-old nonprofit that makes available affordable housing, health care, eviction prevention programs and a variety of services for youth, families, seniors and disabled adults as well as those facing homelessness.
“The last two years have proved to America that adversity can touch anyone,” said Congressman Doyle in announcing his support for the homelessness forum. “Poverty and the relative scarcity of affordable housing are the two most common reasons for the rise in homelessness, but there are other significant causes including the loss of jobs, homes, and health insurance, as well as the rise in single-parent and teen-parent households, to name just a few,” Doyle said.
“On any given evening, there are approximately 2,400 individuals in Pittsburgh who are homeless,” added the Congressman, who serves on the Board of Advisors of the local Homeless Children’s Education Fund. “It’s time for our community to take a renewed look at this issue and roll up our sleeves to stop this number from moving even higher.”
During the September 3 forum at CMU, Doyle will speak to recent changes in federal legislation affecting outreach to the homeless, including a homelessness prevention fund that was part of this year’s economic stimulus legislation passed by Congress. Other speakers at the event include Sarah Kahn, director of field mobilization with the National Alliance to End Homelessness in Washington, DC; Michael Lindsay of the Allegheny County Department of Human Services; Adrienne Walnoha, executive director of Community Human Services; and the Rev. Mike Wurschmidt, rector of Shepherd’s Heart Ministries, a program for homeless veterans.
“Across the country and in our own area, homelessness is increasing while the availability of shelter and basic social services is being strained,” observed Walnoha. “We must make ‘America’s Most Livable City’ just that for all its citizens and ensure that both in the city and county, the homeless receive the support they need so they can stop sleeping in streets and cars and avoid becoming a permanent statistic. Our forum is designed to explore ways to accomplish this goal,” Walnoha said.
The September 3 forum on homelessness will be held in Rangos 1 on the second floor of CMU’s University Center. Parking is available in the East Campus Garage on Forbes Avenue adjacent to the center. To register for the forum, call Diane McMahon of Community Human Services at 412-246-1608, or email her at: ">.
Planning continues for the Friday, Oct. 9 Sleep-in for the Homeless, an awareness and fundraising event to be held in the portico and lobby of the City-County Building. Current details about the Sleep-in can be found by visiting http://sleepinforthehomeless.blogspot.com.
Current sponsors of the 2009 Sleep-in for the Homeless include the University of Pittsburgh, Carlow University, Carnegie Mellon University, Robert Morris University, LaRoche College, Point Park University, the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh (FHLBank), J.P. Phillips Inc., PNC Bank and The Bank of New York Mellon.