Mayoral Candidates' Homelessness Forum: Philadelphia, Wed April 7

Tom Boland (wgcp@earthlink.net)
Fri, 2 Apr 1999 21:13:18 -0800 (PST)


FWD  Friday April 2, 1999

     Press Release

     SOURCE: Project H.O.M.E.

     Philadelphia Mayoral Candidates to Attend
     Forum on Ending Homelessness; Event Will Be
     One of Largest Political Events on
     Homelessness in City's History

     Wednesday, April 7, 5:00 - 6:30 p.m.
     First Unitarian Church, 2125 Chestnut Street

PHILADELPHIA, April 2, 1999 -- The six candidates who are seeking to be
Philadelphia's next mayor will try to win over hundreds of homeless and
low-income voters at a forum on Homelessness and Housing, next Wednesday,
April 7, at 5:00 p.m. at the First Unitarian Church at 2125 Chestnut Street
in Center City Philadelphia.

The forum is being put on by the Greater Philadelphia Urban Affairs
Coalition and The Open Door Coalition as part of their nonpartisan
initiative called ``Election '99: Leadership to End Homelessness.'' This
initiative, which is co-sponsored by over fifty community groups, is
calling on each mayoral candidate to publicly pledge to ``utilize all
appropriate energy and resources to end homelessness in Philadelphia.''

``We have made tremendous progress in providing real solutions to
homelessness in the past several years,'' said Sr. Mary Scullion, Executive
Director of Project H.O.M.E. and one of the organizers of the event. ``But
the City still faces enormous challenges. This is a time for real
leadership and commitment, which we are looking for in all the mayoral
candidates.''

Several hundred homeless persons from dozens of programs and shelters will
attend the event, making it one of the largest political events on
homelessness in the City's history. A committee of several homeless and
formerly homeless persons will help plan the forum and assess the
candidates' responses. The coalition is also undertaking an extensive voter
registration campaign, with a goal of registering up to five thousand
homeless and low-income voters.

``Our City is facing a crisis -- poor people are becoming poorer and the
barriers to our success are multiplying,'' said Hannah Oakman, a formerly
homeless woman who now works with Peoples Emergency Center. ``This forum is
an opportunity for poor and homeless people to find out for themselves
which candidate can truly show us our way home.''

This forum and the broader election-year initiative mark the first time in
Philadelphia history that homeless persons and advocates are presenting a
comprehensive proactive agenda to the future City leadership. The coalition
will publish a Voters Guide before the primary elections, outlining the
candidates' positions. The coalition will also hold an ``I Matter! I
Vote!'' rally for homeless persons on April 19.

SOURCE: Project H.O.M.E.

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