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CSUF Hosts Symposium Seeking Solutions to Homelessness

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Cal State Fullerton’s College of Communications and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences Center for Public Policy will host a Friday, April 27, “Symposium on Homelessness in Orange County,” with speakers from the OC Poverty Alleviation Coalition, Orange County United Way, Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority and the Association of California Cities, Orange County.

The recent, interim measures responding to homeless populations along local riverbeds and city streets lacked comprehensive strategies and CSUF’s goal is to respond to the regional need by providing a forum for discussion of research data and policy alternatives for long-term solutions, said Jon Bruschke, professor of human communication studies.

“We sent out the call and the community really responded,” said Bruschke ’88, ’90 (B.A., M.A. speech communication). “ No one conversation can solve a problem this large, but I am very hopeful that this group of very impressive attendees will make a significant contribution to public understanding of both the issue and the best solutions.”

About 130 students, faculty members, civic leaders, homeless people and nonprofit representatives registered for the event by April 20, Bruschke said.

The three-hour program in the Titan Student Union begins with keynote addresses at 10 a.m. Becks Heyhoe of the Orange County United Way and Kelsey Brewer ’16 (B.A. political science) of the Association of California Cities, Orange County will speak on “Research on Who the Homeless Are and Long-term Housing Solutions.” Mike Antos of the Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority and Mohammed Aly of the Orange County Poverty Alleviation Coalition will discuss “Homeless and Water: Community and Capacity Building.”

Breakout sessions, beginning at 11:15 a.m., will feature research by the Center for Public Policy and the CSU.

Justin Tucker, the director of the center and an associate professor of political science, will present his findings of an ongoing survey of public opinion and homelessness solutions.

Carmen Curiel, associate dean of students, will share the recent research conducted through the CSU Chancellor’s Office that reflected housing and food insecurity across the 23 CSU campuses, and share details of CSUF’s Tuffy’s Basic Needs Center serving students in need. She’ll also discuss the CSU’s Study of Student Basic Needs released in January, and the Report on CSU Actions to Support Students Facing Food and Housing Security, released in February.

CSUF President Fram Virjee, 65th District Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva ’87 (multiple subject credential) and Bruschke are scheduled to offer closing remarks before lunch is served.

Visit the symposium site to get more information or register to attend the event.

Parking for the event is available in the State College Parking Structure, near the intersection of State College Boulevard and Dorothy Lane, at $8 for an all-day permit.

Related stories and research: 

Counting the Homeless: CSUF Assists in Orange County’s Homeless Tally

CSU Studies on Student Food Insecurity and Housing Displacement