Keynote speaker Philip Mangano, Executive Director, U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, and a HUD video titled "Every story makes a Difference," gave the City of Gainesville and Alachua County, Florida a lively opening to the second homelessness summit in less than six months. The ten-year plan to eradicate homelessness is better known as Gainesville Region/Alachua County Empowerment or "GRACE for the Homeless." The purpose of Homeless Summit II was to introduce the final version of a well thought out plan to address homeless problems in the City of Gainesville and surrounding counties.
From left, Rodney Long, Alachua County (FL) Commissioner, Pegeen Hanrahan, Mayor, City of Gainesville (FL) and Philip Mangano, Executive Director, U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness discuss the 10 Year plan prior to opening session of Gainesville, Florida's Homeless Summit II
On his return trip as keynote speaker at the Summit, Philip Mangano, welcomed GRACE for the Homeless, "into the national movement to end homelessness. "Homelessness is wrong � spiritually, morally and politically," Mangano proclaimed enthusiastically. He commended the quick development of the 10-year plan citing the use of best practices gleaned from other developing 10 year planning groups. Mangano said, "Gainesville and Alachua County has made the best use of "Best Practices" � mastering the art of legitimate larceny of good ideas" found in other homeless plans around the country. "Grace for the Homeless has resulted in a model project for other communities," Mangano said.
Approximately 200 planners and residents witness the introduction of the 10 year homeless plan - GRACE for the Homeless
Alachua County Commissioner Rodney Long committed $250,000 annually while Gainesville Mayor Pegeen Hanrahan proposed $210,000 in the coming year as match of private funds to the $1 million dollar budget for the homeless plan. Dr. Sally Lawrence, a consultant, facilitated the development of the coordinating six steering committees involving municipal and county officials, business partners, citizens and the homeless. Once homeless resident Thomas Cronk introduced the acronym GRACE as the adopted reference to the homeless plan. The plan will now go to legislative bodies of both the City of Gainesville and Alachua County for final approval.
Jacksonville Field Office FPM staff played a significant role in the logistics assuring success of the Summit, which is also a HUD 2006 management goal. Nearly 200 participated in the Summit.