To True Homeless Activists in America -- Are you ready for a change?

H. C. Covington (ach1@sprynet.com)
Sat, 21 Nov 1998 15:02:44 -0600


To: HPN Formerly Homeless Activists and Organization Members

We are conducting the Louisiana Instuite on Homelessness & Housing here in
Lafayette December 8 through 11, 1998.  I have the honor of organizing this
years meeting not as a "Socail Service Conference" but as  a learning
instuite for about three hundred agencies and organizations.  As a fomrely
homeless person, this is quite a challange for me.  I have worked to set
the tone of this Institute so it will attract the "professional homeless
providers and case workers" as well as the mom and pop rural providers that
really do want to help us. I have asked for help from the bsiness community
to support this Institute so that it has NO GRANT MONEY in it and NO AGENCY
is in charge or is sponsoring it.  We do have ARCH - The Acadiana Regional
Coalition on Homelessness and Housing, Inc. as the local "host," but that
is the rural coalition I have helped build as a example to what can be done
with or without resources.

The bottom line?  I have the desire that at least one third of the persons
attending this institute be formerly homeless individuals and or families
so that the true voice of the homeless can be heard in the learning tracks
as well as the general sessions.  I have worked hard for the last two years
to be able to do this and to include a good balance of people truly
dedicated to ending homelessness.  All accross America, we created a
"Homeless Industry" that consumes 70% + of the resources we need to get to
the street level.  By being outside the system, I was not able to change
that.  Now by working from the inside, we are having an impact on making
systemic change that begins NOW and will continue into the new century.
Here in Acadiana (8 counties of Louisiana) we are planning our own version
of "Y2000" and it is NOT a computer bug.  Our Y2000 is being able to say
YES! to 2,000 people a year coming out of homelessness every year begining
in Janurary 1999.  Our 8 counties has about 6,000 homeless and a population
of 560,000 on 44,000 Sq miles of area.  So, our poor rural area competes
with New Orleans and Shreveport as the third highest homeless population in
the state and we are addressing this heads up.

This week, we published 50,000 copies of a 12 page Tabloid Newspaper laying
out the story on Homelessness, House-lessness, and the real numbers of the
people that we are trying to reach.  Every day during the week, we have had
3 to 5 radio and TV stations doing interviews with the providers and our
people at 7:00, 9:00, 12:00, 5:00, 6:00 and 10:00.  More than 20 area
papers picked up on our stories and are helping to spend the rest of
November telling the need for affordable housing, jobs, supportive services
and self direction.

We would like to have more of you from the Activists Based HPN to join us
the week of December 8-11, 1998 and stand ready to help you with
scholarship funding, local shelter and Institute costs and meals.  If you
feel that you want your voice to be heard, please e-mail me a note and/or
call me toll free 1-877-734-4664.
 Lighting the Path -- General Institute Schedule


Tuesday
             December 8, 1998

            8:00 AM to 6:30 PM
             On-site Registration for the

            Louisiana Institute on Homelessness and Housing


            9:30 AM TO 11:45 AM
             Louisiana Interagency Action Council for the Homeless - Public
Meeting


            12:00 AM to 2:00 PM
             Institute Opens @ 12:00 Luncheon "What ARE We doing Right"


            2:15 PM to 2:30 PM
             Networking Break for Coffee & Cokes


            2:30 PM to 3:30 PM
             Track Sessions 101, 201, 301, 401, 501, 601

            3:30 PM to 3:45 PM
             Break for Cokes & Coffee


            3:45 PM to 4:45 PM
             Track Sessions 101, 201, 301, 401, 501, 601

            4:45 PM to 5:00 PM
             Networking Break for Coffee & Cokes


            5:00 PM to 5:45 PM
             Track Sessions 101, 201, 301, 401, 501, 601


            5:45 PM to 7:00 PM
             Networking Reception with Music & Cash Bar

            7:00 PM to 9:30 PM
             Dinner & dancing <Zydeco Cajun Band Provided to "Kick Off The
Conference">



            Wednesday
             December 9, 1998

            7:00 AM to 6:30 PM
             Registration Desk Open

            7:30 AM to 8:30 AM
             Continental Breakfast in Ballroom <Expo Displays Open in
Conference Hall>


            9:00 AM to 10:15 AM
             Track Sessions 102, 202, 302, 402, 502, 602

            10:15 AM to 10:30 AM
             Networking Break for Coffee & Cokes

            10:30 AM to 11:45 AM
             Track Sessions 103, 203, 303, 403, 503,603


            11:45 AM to 1:15 PM
             Speaker Lunch


            1:30 PM to 2:30 PM
             Track Sessions 104, 204, 304, 404, 504, 603

            2:30 PM to 2:45 PM
             Networking Break for Coffee & Cokes

            2:45 PM to 3:50 PM
             Track Sessions 105, 205, 305, 405, 505, 604


            4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
             Networking and Free Time


            6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
             Sponsorís Open Reception with Music and Cash Bar

            7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
             Main Dinner Meeting and speakers



            Page 2 of 2


            Thursday
             December 10, 1998

            7:00 AM to 6:30 PM
             Registration and Information Desk Opens


            7:30 AM to 8:30 AM
             Continental Breakfast <Expo Displays Open in Conference Hall>


            9:00 AM to 10:15 AM
             Track Sessions 106, 206, 306, 406, 506, 606

            10:15 AM to 10:30 AM
             Break for Coffee


            10:30 AM to 11:45 AM
             Track Sessions 107, 207, 307, 407, 507, 607


            11:45 AM to 1:15 PM
             Speaker & Lunch


            1:30 PM to 2:30 PM
             Track Sessions 108, 208, 308, 408, 508, 608

            2:30 PM to 2:45 PM
             Break for Cokes and Coffee


            2:45 PM to 3:50 PM
             Track Sessions 109, 209, 309, 409, 509, 609

            3:50 PM to 4:00 PM
             Break for Cokes and Coffee


            4:00 PM to 5:15 PM
             Track Sessions 110, 210, 310, 410, 510, 610


            5:30 PM to 7:00 PM
             Networking and free time - Reception with Music and Cash Bar
in Ball Room

            7:00 PM to 9:30 PM
             Main Institute Dinner Meeting and speakers



            Friday
             December 11, 1998

            7:00 AM to 11:30 PM
             Registration Desk Open


            7:00 AM to 9:00 AM
             Full Buffet Breakfast and Networking meetings in Ballroom


            9:00 AM to 10:00 AM
             Track Sessions 111, 211, 311, 411, 511, 611

            10:00 AM to 10:15 AM
             Break for Cokes and Coffee


            10:15 AM to 11:45 AM
             Track Sessions 112, 212, 312, 412, 512, 612


            12:00 PM to 2:30 PM
             Final Lunch & Speaker (Building the Bridge to Higher Ground)


            2:45 PM
             Closing of Institute on Homelessness & Housing


            3:00 PM to 9:00 PM
             Tours arranged to local Tourist Attractions of Cajun Country
AND/OR

            3:00 PM to 5:00 PM
             Tours of Local Homeless Providers within 20 mile radius of
Lafayette




H. C. Sonny Covington  @  I CAN America
Louisiana Instuite on Homelessness & Housing
125 S. Buchanan Street - Lafayette, LA  70501
(318) 235-7005  Fax 318-235-7602 1-877-734-4664
hccovington@usa.net
icanamerica@usa.net
ach1@sprynet.com