Monday, August 13, 2012
Mayor’s commission invites citizens to attend
public forum on homelessness on Aug.25
The Mayor’s Commission on Homelessness invites citizens to open up about homelessness through Open Space, a new way to join in a constructive group discussion on a public issue.
Mayor Jim Gray
Mayor Jim Gray said the commission needs to hear from as many people as possible during Open Space, which will be held 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 25, at Calvary Baptist Church, 150 E. High St. Gray has asked the commission to identify needed changes or improvements in Lexington’s effort to address homelessness.
Open Space is similar to a public forum or a conference, but the agenda is not set in advance. Instead, participants set the agenda based on their specific interests. The Commission’s Open Space will be centered on the following question: “What should our community think about, know about, and do in order to best address the opportunities and challenges presented by homelessness?”
“Open Space is a great format to use for issues that are particularly complex, such as homelessness,” said Councilmember Steve Kay, commission chair. “It allows people who may have differing perspectives to share ideas and listen to each other while working towards common ground.”
Debra Hensley, co-chair of the commission, said, “This Open Space will allow the community to participate in a meaningful dialog about the issues surrounding homelessness and offer suggestions on how to address these issues. Just like what happened in the 90s leading up to the creation of the Hope Center, community-wide engagement is a critical element of success in addressing homelessness.”
The event will start with a general conversation and then break into small groups to discuss issues of interest to the participants, who will direct the small group sessions. At the end of the day, the small groups will share their results with the entire group and notes from each small group will be shared publicly.
Lunch and snacks will be provided. Pre-registration is strongly encouraged. No fee required. To pre-register, send your name and contact information to Shaye Rabold at email@example.com or visit the Facebook event page.
The commission will hold its first meeting from 3:00-5:00 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 15, at the city’s Phoenix Building (101 East Vine St.) in the third-floor conference room.