Community meeting Wednesday to focus on homelessness issue

The Merced County Association of Governments said the first of many community meetings to create local solutions to end homelessness in Merced County is scheduled for 10 a.m., Wednesday, Oct. 20, in the Merced City Council Chambers located at 678 West 18th.

Phillip Mangano, president of the American Round Table to Abolish Homelessness, and past executive director of the Interagency Council on Homelessness will be the keynote speaker. Mangano was appointed by President Bush in 2002 to the Interagency Council; he left the position in May 2009.

Under his direction the council reframed the national response to homelessness by partnering with local communities to create strategic plans led by jurisdictional elected officials, shaped by community stakeholders, oriented around business principles and practices and measured by results in reducing homelessness.

“We are thrilled to have such expertise to kick off the Merced County 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness,” said Jeanette Garcia, Continuum of Care coordinator for the Merced County region.

MCAG said it got funding from the county of Merced, city of Merced and city of Los Banos to develop the plan. During the next six months, community stakeholders will participate in a county-wide process that will produce a plan with action steps to end and prevent homelessness. The document will define Merced County’s homeless problem, develop strategies to address these problems and create an action plan to implement strategies, according to a news release from MCAG.

More information can be found at www.mcagov.org or by calling (209) 723-3153, ext. 308 or Lori Flanders, public information officer, MCAG, (209) 723-3153 ext. 308 or lori.flanders@mcagov.org